A Wall Full of Life and Color

Nov. 20th, 2015


Coloring session with co-developers to get the final mural design


Soon after meeting with Etienne, Fruit & Veg’s Assistant Manager, the team headed out to gather all the materials required to develop the mural’s design. Joseph’s design was rich in complexity and colors in the red, black and blue spectrum. Yet, on several occasions, he stated that he wanted to see bright colors that portray life and happiness for the actual mural. Echoing the nature of our project, the team decided to have a coloring day at SDR where each team member and co-developer would color Joseph’s design with crayons, reflecting their own preferences. This would allow the team to come up with a color pallet of everyone’s liking and, therefore, a mural design that reflects each person’s valuable opinion.


Cast of Characters:

Khulisa Team Co-developers: Amanda, Izabela, Arthur, and David

The WPI Khulisa Team – Alicia, Keegan, Miguel, Tati


Setting and Scene:

As the team arrived at Service Dining Rooms, it was noticeable the tension rising up. Earlier that morning, law enforcement visited the street people residing on the lot and Izabela had an argument with one of the CCID officers about her belongings. Nevertheless, one of the team members commented that coloring is an activity used in psychology as a stress reliever and that we should stick to the schedule.

Soon after Ricky’s early morning meeting was over, the team sat down at at one of the spare tables and distributed crayons and black and white copies of Joseph’s design. The team proceeded to explain how red, blue, green, yellow, orange and purple were the only colors allowed to be used on the drawings in order to keep execution costs down. Each person grabbed a piece of paper and started coloring. Crayons were shared as well as positive remarks regarding each other’s drawings. Little by little, Joseph’s geometrical design was filled with life and color.

Everyone in the table was so focused on their drawings that no one would speak to each other, until David started humming a song. One after the other, each person at at the table started accompanying him on his melody. After a couple of jokes and laughs, one of the team members decided to put some music on on while inquiring about song suggestions to play. “One love” by Bob Marley was suggested and played right away. Everyone went back to coloring with music in the background. After a few seconds of the song passed, every person at at the table was highly engaged with it by either singing or using the table as a percussion instrument. For the three minutes of duration of the song, all of our differences were forgotten. Our background, culture, and daily difficulties were overshadowed by Marley’s music. The end result was a collection of each other’s colored view on the “Gardens of Life” concept that the team has been working on throughout the project.



Getting the community involved in our project has proven to be an essential asset since it has helped us understand their wants and needs in some level of depth. Even though it has been a slow process, we have started to realize more excitement coming from our co-developers towards the changes we are trying to implement. Also, looking in retrospect, it is impressive the power that music has to unite people and motivating them to do their best. One of the best parts of this painting experience was being able to share a special moment with our co-developers through music and laughter.

After implementing it, Shared Action Learning has proven to be one of the best tools we have relied on in order to get the community involved with the project and feel part of it.