Stations of Pause

Stations of Pause, carried out at the summer 2013 DesignInquiry: Station, began as an opportunity to create a project that emphasizes the reflective frame of the pause, by defining interval moments along a continuum where an inquiry into research and process can occur.

My understanding of Station evolved to signify and celebrate the performative, playful, and improvisational aspects of collaboration and conversation, the movement from Station to Station, and the flow of work and progress.

I was interested in developing a way to reflect on the week as it is happening (an experiment in archiving as you are making). I offered an invitation to the group to collaborate with me at various points throughout the week, and to consider the nature of those interactions and what made them successful or interesting. I had prepared charts for each day of the DI Station week; they proposed times for pause; stations for when these collaborations could take place. The times were determined by the intersection of two overlaid sets of drawings: one, the tidal charts for Vinalhaven, ME (for that week), and two, scanned drawings from my research.

I was prepared for the project to be carried out as a primarily self-directed archiving of various activities at various times (if my invitations fell flat). I had hoped that by leaving the project open for others to be a part of, when, and, in any way they wished, I could discover more about people and their work, test new work quickly, and heighten the DI experience.

I collaborated with ten people, and at least eight others were involved in the documentation (introducing another level of participation and point of view). The video, drawing, mapping projects emerged from shared interests or from the ideas that were generated during DI Station. Afterwards, when possible, we would discuss what was just created or shared, and reflect on the successful or less successful aspects.

Station reinforced for me the value of opening one’s work up to others, has informed the way in which I frame invitations to others to participate, and has reminded me to stay flexible and malleable in my methods. The projects connected me to participants in a creative productive way. It was also meaningful for me to experiment with ways of working that are useful to me: one-on-one collaboration, quick-paced exploratory projects. I hope to apply these approaches to different art, design, and teaching contexts and to develop the results further.