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Shifting perspective

inspiration May 22, 2023

Having fun with meaning

The Advanced Course boat ride

The intention is to offer our students an ultimate experience during the Advance Course EMC organises in the city of Brugge every year. Among all the activities we engage in carefully choosing for our students, the boat ride is a partly fun and partly educational welcoming gift. Everything about the European Master Certification Program is created with the clear intention of changing the mindset of our students and engaging them into a new way to view floral design. We strongly believe this is the was forward into helping them find their unique signature style and in becoming a designer with infinite creative resources.

The shifting of perspective starts in the Foundation Course, where we set out the rules of Elements and Principles of Design and through the 8 weeks while the students engage into assignments our main focus is always to ensure that they understand the theory as a form of knowledge. The next part of the EMC curriculum involves translating all the knowledge of theory and focusing on its practical applicability. It's during the Practicum Course that students get the opportunity to truly view the way Elements and Principles of floral design can enfold into practical assignments. Feedback and a consistent recap of the knowledge is the recipe to create a strong base for the Advance Course to a mind-blowing experience. 

On day one of the Advance Course, right after the students finish their Nomenclature exam and we recap the entire EMC curriculum, we take them on a boat tour of the city. It's a fun way to relieve the tension of the day, but it's also a symbolic activity, relevant for the way we setup the Advance Course for the participants. Meaning, we're looking to change their perspective over rules, and now that they are familiar and confident in knowing the theory, we setup the road to breaking rules in the most creative and unique way possible.

Viewing a town from a boat ride on canals can provide a different perspective and experience than visiting it on foot for several reasons. Firstly, being on a boat allows you to see the town from a different angle and you may be able to see buildings and landmarks that are not visible from the streets or that you may not have noticed before. Also, the water itself can add an element of excitement and adventure to the experience. The movement of the boat and the sound of the water can be exhilarating and create a unique atmosphere that cannot be replicated on land. The pace of the boat ride can be slower than walking, allowing you to take in the scenery at a more leisurely pace. This can be particularly enjoyable if you are in a beautiful and tranquil setting, such as a canal surrounded by lush greenery or historic architecture as one can find in the old town of Brugge, a one-of-a-kind city which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage and the home of the Advanced Course of EMC. 

Bruges, or Brugge in Dutch, is a picturesque city in Belgium that is renowned for its medieval architecture and picturesque canals. Seeing Brugge from a boat ride is a popular way to explore the city, as it provides a unique and memorable perspective on the city's famous landmarks. During a boat ride in Brugge, you can see the city's many historic buildings and landmarks from a different angle, as the boat navigates through the narrow canals that crisscross the city. This includes the famous Belfry tower, the stunning Church of Our Lady, and the picturesque Groenerei canal, which is lined with beautiful medieval buildings. As you cruise through the canals, you'll also get to see the city's many bridges, which are an important part of Brugge's charm and history. Many of these bridges are low and arched, adding to the picturesque quality of the city's waterways just as it adds excitement to the ride itself, especially when the boat captain announced the passage through the lowest bridge in town and thank jokes about how many people he had “lost” in the previous ride. It’s a safe passage, but very at the limit for sure. 

One of the highlights of a boat ride in Brugge is the opportunity to see the city's historic buildings reflected in the water, which can create stunning photo opportunities. The ride through Brugge's canals is a delightful and unique way to experience the city's beauty and charm and we always find it amazing to see how the students start to quickly identify the species of plants that form the uniquely wild sceneries along the canals. Which makes sense considering they just finished the Nomenclature exam early that morning. 

When you are on a boat, you are typically lower to the water level than when you are standing on land. This lower vantage point can provide a unique view of the surroundings, including landscapes, buildings, and other structures. You may be able to see structures or landscapes that are not visible from the road or sidewalk, such as the underside of bridges, or the architecture of buildings that face the water and in the case of Brugge, a lot of landmarks of the old city which are otherwise hidden to the eye. It's a learning experience on how simply changing the view point can actually change the entire way one perceives the surroundings, a valuable lesson for creatives who work with visual impact, such as are our Advance Course students.

The movement of the boat can also impact perspective. The motion of the boat can create a sense of movement and can provide a different feel to the experience. For example, when the boat is moving, the scenery may appear to move in the opposite direction, which can create a dynamic and immersive experience. Being on a boat can provide a different sensory experience, as the sounds and smells of the water and surroundings are different from what you would experience on land. The sounds of the water, the wind, and the wildlife can create a unique and relaxing atmosphere that is distinct from what you would experience on land.

The boat ride creates for a different and memorable experience compared to viewing scenery from the land and it sets a new mood for the entire class which will start their Advance Course adventure the very next day, with new concepts such as Natural Flower Support, Gestalt, Art Inspiration and more being presented in lectures by our lead instructor, Tomas De Bruyne.

The people of Brugge have a deep and long-standing relationship with the city's water canals, which have been an integral part of the city's history, culture, and daily life for centuries. The canals were originally built in the Middle Ages as a means of transportation and communication, and they played a crucial role in the city's economic growth and development. The canals allowed goods to be transported into the city and provided a means of connecting Brugge to other cities and regions in Europe. Today, the canals remain an important part of the city's character and charm. They are a popular tourist attraction, with boat tours and cruises providing visitors with a unique way to experience the city's beauty and history. The canals also serve as a source of recreation and relaxation for locals, who can often be seen walking or cycling along the water's edge. In addition, the canals are an important part of the city's ecology and environment, providing a habitat for a variety of plant and animal species. The water quality of the canals is carefully monitored and maintained to ensure that it is safe and healthy for both humans and wildlife. 

Integrating the beauty of the town that hosts the Advance Course into the experience of our students is important in building confidence and setting up a mood for creativity to enfold at its best. We root for our students, we guide them and we create the premises for their journey to truly take them to places that they have never thought possible. 

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