Akarenga 2016

an exhibition in Yokohama 



In 2016, the Hana Ami Blumenschule itself was the theme of the exhibition: each instructor chose 1 out of the 144 curriculum items and changed it into something special. It is easy to work out something special out of something basic: as long as you know the theory and the message behind a theme, and own the necessary techniques, you just start to go into a direction: make it bigger, or make it extra small. Or double it, triple it, stagger it. Change the position, go into the space. A natural design can fill a whole room, a wreath can float above the container and so on.

Pictures of the participants' work pieces can be seen at the Hana Ami Blumenschule homepage, for sure worth a look    →

I am one of the headmasters at the Blumenschule: together with Kazumasa Kubo, I am guiding the teaching lessons, the so-called Instructor lessons. The instructors then teach in a licensing system to their students, the so-called Student lessons. We were happy to also see students participating in the 2016 exhibition!

My design theme was TEXTURE and I decided to go for MOSS texture

Brought the wall picture and the bed cover from the British House exhibition, this preserved moss keeps really long! Again, people were fascinated by it and nearly everybody touched it: that's it about moss, isn't it: you have to touch it, you want to sit on it, walk on it, lay on it. Hence, the sofa. A natural human reaction, I think.

The lesson demonstration

To change the content of our demonstration, I decided to go for something new: I tried to show my teaching method to the visitor! 

"if it is about textures, make the lesson haptic"

Let students really FEEL, what is texture! Learned in Weihenstephan, influenced by the teachings of Rudolf Steiner, this is my way to connect a physical experience to the theory: you can talk as much as you want to describe a texture, not any word will get near to the hard and resistant touch of a stone, or the fluffy light tickling experience of feathers.
To turn this into a lesson, it is necessary to not SEE the object, but to purely let the students FEEL, to open only one sensor channel.

I created boxes with a flap out of paper, hid some things with a distinctive texture inside: a paperweight out of cold smooth glass, a bowl full of feathers, silky smooth satin, thick, warm wool, scratchy wooden plates, dense moss, pointy pine tree twigs. Let the students get their hands only into the box, let them describe what they feel. Not what they think it is, but what they feel.

"Use only words which express a feeling"

Only in the end, we took out the objects. Lots of surprises!
In Weihenstephan, this was one of my deepest lesson impressions, taught to us from late Sigi Wortmann, then headmaster at the school, and I never forgot it. This is, how a lesson should be: unforgettable. Imprinting an experience.

And that things do not get too severe:

"add something funny"

My recommendation is: SLIME! Nothing gives so many shrieks with its glibbery touch and nothing ends with more laughter when it gets out of the box! Unforgettable.
My demonstration work piece was also about textures: glass-like Viburnum berries besides stingy pine twigs, a thick wool ribbon besides fluffy fennel, a funny mushroom in between which you absolutely want to touch: voila, the "learn-by-feel-its-texture-arrangement" is done. 
The trial lesson on the next day was of course again a texture arrangement.

All in all, the exhibition was a great success in many ways.




1. and 2. of October 2016



Akarenga Soko