The Strategy department of the Ministry of Security and Justice visited our Fablab Amsterdam last Thursday, October 18. In a creative workshop, they got acquainted with the working method of Waag. They answered the question “How can you visualize that we are working on the future in this environment?” by e.g. building prototypes.
After a tour in the Waag building our concept developer Astrid van Roij-Lubsen introduced everyone to the various methods Waag applies to work with creativity. Subsequently, the 14 employees of the Ministry got assignments in which "thinking through making” was the focus point. These were preceded by an 'appreciative inquiry': an interview technique that focuses on positive experiences, such as the atmosphere and their working environment.
In the assignments we visualized ideas by creating objects with scrap material. This method allows you to use the more creative part of your brains, instead of the analytic part. The material serves as a metaphor to make things visible; you can often express a lot with just simple materials. For example, the employees visualized how they experience their role within the department, and what values they represent. This yielded surprising objects and applicable concepts, that each represented the different values of the department in their own way.
I look back on an inspiring afternoon, with a fun and enthusiastic group of participants. The Ministry is very pleased with the outcomes of the workshop and can "long enjoy pleasure and inspiration from the great atmosphere that you have created."