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The Garden of Personal Needs

Updated: Dec 7, 2022

This is an exercise for creating a common picture/ vision of a garden without words. It helps to communicate without words and work together on a vision of a common garden

Goal of the exercise

Sharing a vision of your own garden and needs by drawing together a common garden without words; finding a common way of reconciling the needs of many people in a single piece of work; communication without words about own needs


Number of participants:

At least 4 persons

Target group:

no restrictions

Age of participants:

Aged 2 or above

Duration of the method

30 to 120 min

Materials / Location

Coloured chalk or a large sheet of paper and painting and drawing materials, depending on the location.

Outdoors (a large area of pavement or a parking lot) or indoors (a large table or the floor)


No particular preparation required

Step by step

  1. Explain the task to the participants and hand out the drawing materials.

  2. Participants are asked to draw their vision of a garden according to their personal needs on a single drawing space, without communicating with each other by speech.

  3. Participants are asked to discuss their needs and their artistic choices.

Alternative use

Use the method for drawing any other common space (e.g. a city, town or village).


A very inclusive method as anybody can paint or draw.


"It was interesting to silently design together a common garden while respecting each participant’s needs"

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