Writing Teachers investigate design solutions for Common Good

The first Writing Teachers meeting of 2018 at the Powerhouse Museum was an opportunity to introduce the new regular format for each term. This program allows for the incorporation of different exhibitions.

Writing Teachers Workshop – March 24, 2018 exploring the Common Good exhibition.

10.30 – 10.45 am: Meet and greet, becoming familiar with writing space in the Lab on Level 2. Coffee/tea available.

10.45 – 12 midday: exploring Common Good to gather words and ideas

  • Rapid response writing:
    • Choose different objects / exhibit items and, for each
      • Write a single line response (up to five)
      • Write a five line response (up to two)
      • Write a ten line response (up to two)
    • When engaging with an object – closely examine – record six descriptive words, then six emotive connotations …
    • Write a line of dialogue in the object’s voice

11.45: optional viewing in Kings Cinema: The Reinvention of Normal. https://vimeo.com/122959827

12 – 12.30 pm: Discussion and initial sharing of ideas

12.30 – 1 pm: Lunch

1 – 3 pm: writing, sharing and editing

  • Optional viewing:
  1. The Price of Conflict, The Prospect of Peace


       2. Climate Change in Fiji: Our Home, Our Village


  • the pomodoro technique
    • write uninterrupted for twenty minutes
    • discuss your writing with a partner
    • write uninterrupted for twenty minutes
    • discuss your writing with a partner
  • optional submission: kerri-jane.burke@det.nsw.edu.au

I was drawn to these exhibits, and jotted down these rapid responses:

New Armor Stool (Blue)

slanting, curving, reaching out

to support and cradle

curving like kanji

Untitled 01 and 1616/SB Colour Porcelain Coffee Cup/saucer

sat together,

waiting for the other to introduce itself

circular curves that offer no offense

why can’t we explore our ideas?

so similar, so different

Coloring Shrine Table

waves of blue curdle into yellow buttermilk

unable to solidify the changing thoughts and expectations

waiting for the first blemish

a scratching declaration ‘I was here’

Woven Necklace

peachy keen!

let me wear you, adorn you

show you who you can be …

Lucky Iron Fish

happy, lucky little fish,

swimming in my soup

Do you mind if I eat your brother?

Ger Community Hub

freshly smelling of wood

hoping people will populate this space

and make it their own


After lunch, we used the pomodoro method to great effect. Everyone wrote diligently for twenty minutes, then spoke about their writing for five minutes. We had three writing session, and after sharing, we considered how this time frame could be successfully used in class. Many agreed that it would be helpful for even the most reluctant writer.

While some of us wrote and extended one idea, others wrote three separate pieces. I wrote an opinion piece about the Colouring Shrine Table, a fictional vignette based on the Woven Collar, and a simple little rhyme for the Lucky Iron Fish. Participants were given a two week deadline to polish and submit their writing to be shared by MAAS.


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