“Ideas are worthless until you get them out of your head to see what they can do.” – Tanner Christensen
SESSION 5 RECAP: This week we celebrated the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, highlighting all the various activities going on via EarthDay.org and ASLA.org. It was fun to look back on photos of the first earth day, with the crowds marching, which was such a stark contrast to this year. The campers enjoyed this photo of young advocates, appearing to be around the same age as they all are, leading the parade with an “Earth” banner in hand.
After spending the first several weeks on collecting information and learning strategies to interpret it all, the focus of this session was the topic of ideation, the process of generating new ideas without constraints. We emphasized that with any brainstorming, especially in beginning, there are no bad ideas and that our goal is generally to just come up with a bunch of different ideas. Building on the “How Might We” questions from last week, we outlined the process of decomposition, which breaks problems into smaller more manageable parts and enables us to generate more ideas. This is the process we used in working on the 100 Ideas Project, which released an idea per day for 100 days in a row all aimed at making the community better. We also highlighted the value of sketching and collaging to express ideas and iterate on them.
ACTIVITIES: We used two activities this week to practice brainstorming and giggled our way through the whole experience. The first was to come up with different uses for everyday objects (toothbrushes, boots, and forks) and coming up with ways to use seemingly useless items (a coffee mug with the handle on the inside). Academically, each of these activities sought to connect the campers to different ways to view problem solving and ideation. Socially, we just kept coming up with silly ways to use the objects, which delighted the group.
SPECIAL GUESTS: As we near the end World Landscape Architecture Month and as the American Society of Landscape Architecture (ASLA) finishes its midyear meetings, I am reflecting on the incredible democratization of the profession. Each session, we have been able to connect with women leaders from around the country, largely because of the accessibility that ASLA provides. Last week was no different, with Jean Senechal-Biggs joining us from Oregon. She serves as the trustee from the Oregon Chapter of ASLA and a transportation planner for the City of Beaverton, near Portland. It was great to learn about the different dimensions of her work, from construction visits to advocating for policy changes.
IMPORTANT: La Casa De Amistad published a new fundraiser this week, Rising to Meet The Need. If you have the means, please continue to support them as their need continues to grow each week and our support helps some of the most vulnerable during this pandemic.