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But if you have decided, for some odd reason, to walk flowers non the less, choose the ones with less spines…

Throughout our workshops we have been trying to highlight all the good things about the students we work with. A big part of doing what we do is not just to end up with various design-catalogs but to help the students find sides of themselves they didn’t know excited and help all parties express and point out what, for them, is that makes the spaces a good place to be and a space that you enjoy to be in. What we do has so many facets that goes beyond just the tactile results of the workshops, and many of the people involved in the process have been nice enough to point that out. Students grow with finding new abilities and overcoming obstacles they thought were impossible to overcome (such as presenting in front of your class, or be a part of a group exercise, or build a chair). We also make a point of telling all the involved about what we expect of them, what they can expect of us and ask them what they expect of us and of themselves, then we hold each other to it.

As the headline suggests, this is not always a walk on roses. There are, and always will be, unpredictable obstacles popping up along the road. Here are some that you can be sure will come your way: settling dates for meetings where all parties are available, double bookings of meetings, people who do not want to collaborate or be a part of a team, finding funds for materials, finding good spaces to work in, participants with low self-esteem and self doubt, people who don’t believe in what you do, tantrums (specially while working with kids), finding the right tools for building, helping students with personal issues (they will open up to you, and they will start going to you just for a chat or for asking for your opinion), conflicts between participants, finding transportation of materials and so on and so forth.

These are all things that can be handled in one way or another. Some you can predict and prevent (such as meeting clashes and transportation etc) others just need to be dealt with as they come along. How to deal with a student with a troubled home is not our forte, we have no education in the subject what so ever, but we do the best we can and ask for advice from people who do know what they are talking about if it is something we think is really serious. Thankfully this rarely happens, most of the time students come for advice, or to show you what they have done, or just to talk about nothing and everything. Since we come from the outside the people who we work with have a tendency to relax more easily then if we already were a part of their regular colleagues. Maybe this is just an illusion form our part, but so far this seems to be the way it works.

We do not have

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