As part of the Office Group and Universal Design Studio's collaborative structure 'The Pavilion of Repitition' for the London Design Festival, Head & Hands was invited to be part of the exciting 'On Repeat" programme of repetitive and mindful workshops hosted in the space.
The striking temporary Shoreditch structure designed by architects Universal Design Studio is an outdoor pavilion constructed with open timber sides, letting the air and light flow freely through the space. The pavilion includes a long wooden workshop table, designed to seat thirty participants. Installed on the ceiling are hundreds of delicate paper forms made my visitors, which billowed above us in the breeze.
I began by talking about my interests in self care and slow immersive crafts, giving some context to Head & Hands. I then spoke a little about Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's theory of Flow; a big influence on my work.
The Hungarian psychologist described the state of Flow as:
Csíkszentmihályi identified the following combination of components in experiencing a state of Flow:
- Intense and focused concentration on the present moment
- A loss of reflective self-consciousness and a sense of 'oneness' with the activity
- A sense of personal control or agency over the situation or activity
- A distortion of temporal experience - one’s subjective experience of time is altered
- Experience of the activity as intrinsically and immediately rewarding
- A balance between ability level and challenge level
A perfect example of a Flow activity is the crafting of an Ojo de Dios. The exercise requires the mastering of new techniques, while the results are immediately visible and continue to develop. This craft is very personal, with each person bringing their unique choice of colours and complexity of design. While crafting an Ojo, the maker becomes instantly absorbed, often losing track of time. It's so interesting to see how different each Ojo looks, some choosing colours which unconsciously match their outfits, appealing to their own personal creativity. Some choose loud palettes while others select more subdued and muted tones. Some create multiple bands of colour, while others choose a more minimal approach.
The workshop was only an hour and it flew by very quickly. Much like the beautiful temporary structure of the pavilion - each Ojo represented a perfect moment in time where we wove repetitively together in an immersed state of Flow, moving freely yet in-sync. Much like the suspended origami creations swaying gently above us.
What a pleasure to be in such an inspiring setting and part of such a fantastic lineup of workshops and talks, from Donna Wilson, Booker Print House, Patternity, Sans Pere and New North Press.