This weekend was the Workshop Collection at Keio University Hiyoshi campus. It is an amazing event where there are literally hundreds of workshops put on by groups, students, companies. The aim is to make creative workshops for kids. Each workshop lasts about half an hour. The event had an incredible attendance, thousands of kids and their parents.
One of my observations was that seemingly simple workshops which used no digital technology seemed to be the most popular. I judged popularity by the lines or people formed. For example one of the most popular workshops by far was a “furikake” workshop. Furikake ふりかけ is a dry Japanese condiment meant to be sprinkled on top of rice. At this workshop the kids chose their own recipe of dried vegetables and crushed them. It sounds so simple right? Well this workshop had huge lines of more than 3 hours. Somehow the kids enjoyed immensely to choose their own vegetables and make their own furikake recipe which they then could take home.
Another workshop was sponsored by Muji and it was to cut out pieces of cloth and then glue them onto a plain canvas bag. Muji made special labels that the kids could write their names on. The kids made wonderful and creative bag designs.
And another one at first seems so simple. It was called “A space of laundry pegs”. Basically the kids worked together to put pegs on clothes line racks to make colourful creations just from pegs.
All these workshops were so popular. And I am not saying the workshops with computers, or ipads, or robots weren’t also cool and creative. But the kids voted with their feet. I think they wanted to have authentic experiences. Even in the internet age and the internet generation it seems simple and analog is best.