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CIA term one

today is the last day before a two-week break for the CIA studios geeks.
steve is heading off for some paternity leave.
I'm heading back to melbourne to install a show - childbirth of a different kind.

this seems like an appropriate time to give you an update and overview of the things we've been working on to date.

even though the chair of the board suggested we focus on one deep project, we decided to stick with our matrix approach and do lots of small-ish things, with a focus on two decent-sized projects. one each, kinda.

this method was because we felt that when there are lots of new, exciting, manageable changes, it was easier to engage with the residents across a diverse range of practice, commitment, timing, finances and relationships. and, looking back on term one, i think we went with the right approach.

in the seven weeks we've been working together as geeks, we've started 14 projects, including two major projects that are ongoing:

major projects

wiki (this is my baby)
screen (this is steve's baby)

*we'll go into these next term, as we haven't really 'released' them yet

minor [but important] projects

facebook group
facebook page
resident morning teas
starting online networks (skype, posterous, instagram, vimeo)
geek party

works in progress
more of those online networks

overall ideas

Building each other the world is the ethos of our project - where we're all helping to build and support each other a world of interdisciplinary awesomeness. It is a gradual, compound approach in which we're 'empowering' (for want of a far-less self-help term) the residents to focus on helping themselves, which flows into helping each other, which flows into helping the whole studio, which flows onto helping the rest of the sector.

And we also acknowledge that this 'flow' is also two-way. The sector's contribution influences the studios', which influences the residents as a whole, which influences each individual practice.

informal feedback so far is proving positive - there is definitely a sense that residents are more engaged with each other and each others' practice, they are sharing information and there is an external interest in our workshops and informations sessions.

report card

i made a little report card, even. as a nice, simple matrix-type way to get a sense of how we're tracking. is that too geeky?

each project or 'thing' we've done is on the x-axis and our 'goals' on the y-. Building Each Other and The World are the three concentric areas of interaction that is underlying our strategy. The other six items are the six points of provocation that CIA gave us when we first arrived.

like any kind of 'box-ticking', this doesn't necessarily cover quality well, or assign any kind of weight to particular projects, reflect the time spent developing them, or the value given by the residents, but it's small and petite and easy to capture quickly.

we'll be back in two weeks to start on the next stage of the project, which is to introduce the major projects to the residents, do some training, play a little more and to set up a workshop on some vital digital stuff: hosting/servers/email/websites.



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