EMOJI Workshop: Creation of a ‘Quilt’ of Stories and Emotions

Emoji Quilt detail.

Inspired from both our previous workshop and research about ‘Tangible Emotion’, we led Emoji Quilt workshop (see original idea here) at the Weston Park Museum for the Festival of Social Science in Sheffield. Participants were asked to contribute to create with us a ‘quilt’ of stories and emotions which will be hopefully displayed in a hospital/public space later.

Emoji Quilt, three layers (faces, stories/images, materials).

The quilt was special and different as no stitching was required. We pushed the traditional concept of quilting to a new dimension: Emoji quilt had three layers of transparent balls featuring the following components:

  1. Face (line drawing)
  2. Story + image
  3. Materials (colors, textures ect…)

The Emoji Quilt installation is another version of our Tangible Emotion workshop we led with the AHRC network last May. It also uses some kind of three dimensional elements and similar ideas of representing emotion and communicating personal stories through visual modes.

Step 1, drawing.

First the participants picked an image printed from our game Hospital Heights. They cut images of hospital and/or play context out and they were asked to draw a face on the transparent ball in response to how the image would make them feel.

Step 2, story.

Then, participants wrote a personal story inspired from the visual and placed both their image and story within the second transparent ball.

Step 2, story.

Finally on the last table, they picked a third ball and created a visual composition inspired from their personal story, feeling and images. There were a lot of different materials available for the participants so they had a lot to play with!

Step 3, materials.

Step 3, materials.

Step 3, materials.

Step 3, materials.

Step 3, materials.


The challenging part was to hang all the balls in a kind of grid so each row of three would be in line and represent one participant’s contribution to the quilt.

For the workshop, we finally changed our plans as we were going to build a structure in order to hang the balls in the space. As we did not know how the workshop space would look like, we decided to go for a safer option than what we proposed originally: three IKEA clothes hanger (…) Cheap and very easy to move around! If later we have the opportunity to install the work in a public space we will definitely design the structure so it could be hung from above.

Emoji Quilt, composition in progress.

Emoji Quilt, composition in progress.

Emoji Quilt, composition in progress.

Emoji Quilt, composition in progress.


Finally at the end of the day, we had over 35 participants and many more visitors who came to share their thoughts about the AHRC Game Project. During the day, visitors could play our Hospital Heights game and look at some of the materials/resarch we produced over the last year with the AHRC network.

Hospital Heights game/prototype. More here and the final version played at Copenhagen Play Festival here.



Once the workshop ended, another challenge was to take the installation back to the School of Education. But we eventually made it thanks to all the volunteers and participants who helped us thoughout the day!




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