We received a very special invitation this week to participate in Portland Design Week 2018! One of our amazing parents who works for a local design company is hosting a fun experiment that will be on display there. The experiment asks a variety of peoples to design a shirt with some knowns and some variables that will be unknown. We get to choose shirt color, font color, shirt size, and text, but the font will be randomized and the written information interpreted by the maker. We don’t know exactly how our instructions will be applied! The first time anyone will see the shirt will be the reveal on opening night of Design Week.
Well there are a lot of choices to be made and we needed to figure out a way to navigate this so that it is truly designed by the children. We thought we ought to start with a couple topics that have been themes in our classroom and then also leave room for any random thing they just wanted on a shirt. The topics were: “Spring”, “Consent”, and “Random”. Alisha wrote out the color choices for the t-shirt, and also for the fonts. She tried to write them in each color to make it easier for the children to interpret and vote on. And here’s another thing about voting- if you just ask for a show of hands, the children almost always vote more than once , no matter how many times you remind them that they each only get one vote. Soooo… we use voting gems! Each child is given one voting gem to spend on their vote. When they come place it in the bowl, they get to make their choice.
The children came up with many phrases and ideas and we’ve had to whittle away at narrowing it down throughout the day today. After the votes were all in they decided on a t-shirt color- Navy Blue, and by an overwhelming majority decided on font color- Gold Glitter.
The text is not as easy of a thing to come up with and to vote on. It could be anything!
“Love trumps Hate!”, said NC
“Dragons fight zombies and vampires”- LD
“I just want cuddles”- STr
“No thank you”- LG
We started with a good list of suggestions, and they kept adding to it throughout the day. So next we had to choose a few favorites for them to vote on. The teachers chose 6 that we liked and thought the children all generally liked. We wrote those on quick t-shirt templates and brought a clipboard around outside to gather the votes once again!
And now, after all this navigating, and whittling, and several rounds of voting- we still have a tie! Agh! We almost just made the choice as teachers, but decided to be patient and try to keep it child-chosen. Tune in next week when we gather the last remaining votes from a few early-week children to make the final design decisions!