Anja Ebers

Doodling Together

by . Last edit was 2 days ago
10 - 30 4 - 200

Create wild, weird and often funny postcards together & establish a group's creative confidence.

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Establish creative confidence; collaborate effortlessly; build capacity for working together as a workshop-group.


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  • felt markers, not too thick/thin, one/participant
  • paper / blanko postcards


Sitting around a table or in a circle helps but is not mandatory.
Hand out a sheet of paper or postcard & a pen to each participant. Pens in identical color and size - not too thick & not too thin -  cater for better results.

We'll create something together in the next couple of minutes.
I'll guide you through a sequence of simple tasks. Please do as directed and - especially in the last two steps - don't do more than as directe

Instructions for the group

  • Draw a form - pass your paper on to the left (or right - stick to one direction)
  • Make something out of the form you got from your neighbour (an object or a person, an animal) - pass your paper on
  • Add context to the paper you got from your neighbour - pass your paper on
  • Add action or drama to the paper you got. Refrain from using text, this will be another step! - pass on
  • Add text

Some additions/riffs after playing with it since three years:

  1. Do the impro-part at the begin of a workshop and use empty post-cards as paper; let people pick one design at the end & let them write their address on the back; swap again among participants and let them write a postcard with insights/ things they want to share with the person.
  2. Play a certain music during the doodling; I played Christmas songs once and we ended up with interesting holiday postcards

Tips for running this activity online

  • Pick an online whiteboard tool that allows you to use a large, zoomable canvas.
  • Create a post-it note for each participant and arrange these in a circle, with space underneath for an image. Arrange people in groups of five where possible.
  • In the first step, have participants draw their first image and add it below their name tag in the whiteboard.
  • For the following steps each person will drag their image and pass it to the next person in the circle.
  • When facilitating full group discussion, we’d recommend that participants use non-verbal means to indicate they’d like to speak. You can use tools like Zoom’s nonverbal feedback tools, a reaction emoji, or just have people put their hands up.The facilitator can then invite that person to talk.
  • If you’re not using an online whiteboard, we’d recommend using a collaboration tool such as Google Docs to place and pass your images, create a heading for each participant under which they place their image.
  • Alternatively, you can use Slack and have each player private message their image to the next player at each step.


Eva-Lotta Lamm hosted an Open Space Workshop on visual improvisation at the Euviz / IFvP conference 2014 in Berlin which inspried me to adapt the sequence for team-workhops.

Comments (3) ( 4.0  avg / 1 ratings)

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  • Some effects of the method: - Allows sillyness or crazy ideas in. - Serves as a subtle way to train people in the use of felt-markers - if you want them to write legible on sticky-notes in your workshop.

    about 3 years ago
  • Using similar method with putting it in context, eg "Think about (topic of the workshop). Find a form, which is a good metapher for it..." and so on. Speak about results: different ways, different views - how to connect?

    about 2 years ago
  • Is it just me, or are there steps missing at the end of group instructions? The invitation above suggest there is more?

    9 months ago