Whoever enters The Lab are
the right people to be there. We work with these ground rules:
enter The Lab with an open mind, a sense of humor
and a willingness to do the work and learn from each other.
of us has valid experiences and opinions we bring into The Lab.
The visual practice veterans have on-the-ground experience and plenty
of tips and tricks and know-how. New folks bring in the beginners
mind, ask "why" and "what if" and challenge
our assumptions. Those joining us from adjoining fields bring us
the insights from their industries. We learn from each other
at all levels.
do not have to love everyone, but you do have to respect everyone.
We all create our space together for these three days.
are colleagues, not clients. This is a sales-free zone.
and feedback is the fastest way to learn and grow. We will share
our observations in ways that are constructive and make us all better
manage yourself. We will have three, intense days together.
You pace yourself. We want you to participate fully, but you are
welcome to sit back for an exercise. Go take a walk if you need
a breather. Party all night if it's what keeps you going.
up for yourself! The Lab works with an emergent agenda. We need
to know what you want to try, what questions you have, so we can
make the most out of our time for everyone.
Those are the only
requirements for The Lab.
in The Lab?
Whatever we make happen. I bring my lifetime of drawing experience and
16 years of graphic facilitation experience to create the space and
time for you to question, test, observe and learn from your work and
the work of your colleagues.
You will have all
the physical materials you need, though you're welcome to bring the
tools you like, or something you've been wanting to test out. Content
will be provided for us to map and we'll map our own conversations.
I will have some experiments at the ready, but our three days are wide
open to the needs of you and your 5 colleagues.
We will definitely
be mapping video and audio content in real-time and at a large scale.
We will observe each others' maps of the same content as a crucial way
to get into the nuance of graphic facilitation. Beyond those foundational
exercises, our time is what we make of it.
You can try mapping
blindfolded. You can try mapping with no words or only words. We can
have a conversation around the business side of graphic facilitation.
We can embark on a field trip to the Art Institute, the Museum of Contemporary
Art, Millennium Park, all within easy walking distance of our Lab's
location, the Summit Executive Centre.
Lab is three days for the 7 of us to explore and deepen our visual
practice. You will have my support and all the materials you need.
Please bring your questions, your observations and perspectives
and most importantly, an openness to experiment.
from the first Lab
you to Lab #1 participants Aaron
Kingman and Cathleen
Bridgeman. Photography by Jennifer
Who is NOT going
The Lab is a space for us to adapt to what the group needs and wants
to do. Our agenda emerges from the group. We will learn by doing, more
than learning from watching. If you like to dip your toe into the proverbial
pool, you may not enjoy this dive into the deep end. If you like knowing
what you'll be doing at 2:15 or knowing the exact agenda over three
days, you are unlikely to feel comfortable with the openness of The
Lab's schedule. If you have any questions about if The Lab is right
for you, contact me.
to join me in The Lab?
I have 6 spots open in each Lab. The Lab costs $3000 USD for the three-day
retreat, including all breakfasts, lunches, beverages and snacks. All
materials are included along with this unique access to me. I don't
offer one-on-one coaching, so this is the best opportunity to work together
in a small group format. Plus you'll get your own kit of supplies to
use and take home.
The Lab does not
include dinners, accommodations or travel costs.
to experiment and
strengthen your visual thinking skills?
Secure your spot for three days together to listen deeply, think critically,
draw swiftly and learn from each other in The Lab:
Dates for Winter 2014 Registration
Due to low registration numbers for the Winter Lab, I am
currently in a two week trial to test interest in holding this
only Lab I'll be conducting in the United States in 2014. I am
currently planning to hold two Labs in Europe, Summer 2014. Please
sign up for my newsletter to get the first news of those dates
4th to November 18th
window is open for final registration push.
18th, Midnight Central Time
4 people have registered by midnight Chicago time, we will proceed
with the Winter Lab. If not, I will refund all current registrations
in full and I'll cancel January Lab.
Our location, the
Summit Executive Centre is located at 205 North Michigan Avenue. I chose
this space for its flat walls, great, healthy food and stellar location.
For example, the Summit is:
miles / 600 meters to the Clark/Lake train stop. At this stop is
both the Blue Line to O'Hare airport and the Orange Line to Midway
airport. This is also the closest stop for the Brown, Pink and Green
/ 300 meters from the closest Red Line train stop on public transit.
/ 200 meters to Millennium Park and the Chicago Cultural Center
/ 600 meters to the Art Institute of Chicago
/ 1.4 kilometers to the Museum of Contemporary Art
/ kilometers to Hostelling International Chicago, a hostel with
a capacity of 500 people and no age restrictions.
Our location is
steps away from many hotels. Details will be shared upon registration.
And I hope you'll add time to your trip to explore my most favorite
The Lab includes
you share 24 hours (3 eight-hour days) with me in a group no larger
than 7 people. I am ready to meet you where you are and work together
to strengthen your skills and answer your unique questions. I don't
offer one-on-one coaching or mentoring, so this is the best Brandy-access.
You also get breakfast,
lunch and snacks from the delicious menu at the Summit Executive Centre.
We will have a
well-stocked laboratory with all the supplies you can need, along with
some good stuff to bring home with you to continue to work and learn.
a second language
is the conducted in English. I try my best to minimize my American idioms
so everyone will understand. In workshops past, the native English speakers
completely understand the challenge of mapping a conversation in a second
language in a second language. And I welcome you to bring a MP3 player
with a podcasts or interviews in your native language. There will be
opportunities to wear earbuds and listen your audio and map what you
bring. We get to observe the shape of your drawing separate from understanding
as a foreign language
There will be a variety of levels of drawing experience in The Lab.
You don't have to draw well, you just need to be willing to draw.
In my experience,
20% of graphic facilitators come from the visual arts, 80% come from
the people arts. Often when people draw well, the drawing gets in the
way and they need to learn a type of drawing that suits this type of
work. And as I say in my book, drawing is a balance of listening, thinking
and drawing skills. We all bring our strengths and weaknesses.
There are a lot of options for getting your feet wet in the pool of
graphic facilitationI want to cannonball into the deep end. I
welcome you to join me in this immersion. The three days will adapt
to your questions and your needs. I believe the right people will be
in the room. The veterans can look at their work with fresh eyes from
the beginners. The inexperienced can learn from the experienced. We
will all learn from our shared experience and experimentation.
That said, consider
that we will balance your needs with the needs of others. If you feel
like you'll have a metric ton of questions, you may want to do an introductory
course first. If you are fine with sitting with your some of your questions
and observing, you are welcome to swim with us.
me if you have questions.
This reminds me
of a time when I was a thwarted learner. As a ten-year-old, I attended
a Girl Scout Jamboree. I wanted to go to the class on making a monkey's
fist necklace, but the teacher insisted it was ages 12 and up. My scout
leader stood up for me, but the teacher refused. I was furious. I knew
I could make a frickin' frackin' monkey's fist knot.
This story is to
illustrate that if you share this defiant, monkey-fist willingness to
challenge yourself, you are a good candidate for The Lab.
The Summit Executive Centre is accessible. We will be on the 10th
floor of a skyscraper that have ramps and elevators. While we generally
tend to work standing at walls, you are welcome to sit and draw at a
table. If you have any questions about the space, please
contact the Summit. If you have any questions about the retreat
itself, please contact me.
Cancellations before the early registration deadline, will
receive a full refund. Between that date and the close of registration
date, cancellations will be refunded minus a $1200 charge. After the
registration closing date, cancellations are subject to the entire workshop
fee. Substitutions can be made at any time (i.e. someone can take your
place if you are unable to attend).
Brandy, Why "The Lab"?
While I am undoubtably an artist, I have always loved science, especially
biology. I love the scientific method the kind of hands-on learning
we get to do in laboratories. When I try something new, I like to joke
that it's all just part of The Great Experiment.
This is an environment
for us to all feel free to experiment with our visual thinking and graphic
facilitation work. It is different from our client projects, our community
conferences or other workshops.
hope you'll join me!
January 6 - 8, 2014:
in the next Lab dates? Want to get on the waiting list for
the current Lab? Click
here here to sign up for the special Lab list. (A pop-up
window will appear with sign-up form.)
After a childhood
of nonstop drawing, Brandy Agerbeck earned a BA in Art from Grinnell
College. Fortunate to find a way to serve people with her drawing
and thinking skills, she began working as a graphic facilitator
in 1996. From 2000 to 2010, Brandy volunteered within her professional
community, the International Forum of Visual Practitioners, as
a conference organizer, speaker and board member. She develops
visual, spatial and kinesthetic tools and training. The author
of The Graphic
Facilitator's Guide and co-creator of the book Permission,
her work has been published internationally and can be seen at