Workshop for Fictional Entrepreneurs @ Occupy L.A.

Reflecting on the Occupy events across the nation, I decided to focus on the individuals of this movement as a specific audience for a workshop on Fictional Entrepreneurship. I realized the significance of the movement had some parallel aspects to my thesis work thus far – specifically “defiant devices,” a project about severe constraint as creative restriction.

“Hey. Now that’s some great art!” – LAPD

In response to the initial worksheet’s results, I re-designed the form as well as it’s language to more clearly state the purpose of the exercise: create something new by defying the provided machine’s purpose. The new workbook also included varying levels of difficulty (1,2,3,4) as well as an example. As a result, the inventions that came of the prompt were much more concise, and successfully demonstrated defiance as an alternative approach to entrepreneurship.

The most interesting response to the worksheets was developed on sheet Level 4 – this was the one machine whose function even I did not know. However, the participant, a man with a soda bottle balanced on his head, and a stuffed snake around his neck assured me he knew exactly it’s purpose. The sheet’s two sections, “draw” and “describe,” then adapted to become a space for explaining the machine itself, as opposed to the machine of the participant’s design. I found this to be an interesting exercise in understanding the stance of the participant before prompting them to “defy.”

After speaking with Ben, I realized that this result could be replicated across all participants by abstracting the machines further, through a lack of description, or the design of a flowchart – with room for subjectivity from the participant. This, as opposed to the current illustrations, would open up the illustration itself for more interpretation to perhaps get more unique inventions from the user.

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