4 days to explore Heritage with LEGO [Ferrara – Italy I 20-23 March 2013]

You can learn more about a man in one hour of play than in a year of conversation [Plato]

At Restauro 2013, the trade fair for the Art of Restoration and Conservation of our Cultural and Environmental Heritage, the first and most important Italian event dedicated to the art of restoration and the conservation of Italian artistic heritage taking place in Ferrara (Italy), we are going to play. Because a Serious Play can improve our understandings and reveal brand new dimensions of Heritage.

The Department of Architecture at University of Ferrara, together with Tekehub, and with the  High Tecnology Network of Emilia Romagna, is working on an experimental exhibition stand to be presented at the Restauro 2013 in Ferrara: a new format and new contents will wait for visitors attending the event on March 20-23rd 2013. The leading idea is to explore concepts related to

Restauro: the LEGO-Box and the project of the stand

Restauro: the LEGO-Box and the project of the stand

Heritage using innovative means based on methodologies that enhance knowledge sharing and meaning making.

For four days, in a multi-functional and colourful space, designed to explicitly recall LEGO bricks, using LEGO SERIOUS PLAY, participants will be involved in a number of events, speeches and thought provoking activities to encourage the discussion and improve our understand of what is Heritage. The project is called B4 – which plays on the idea of Bricks for… and the assonance with the world Before.

LEGO SERIOUS PLAY (LSP) is a ‘serious play’ methodology that by encouraging participants’ constructive and abstraction skills, enhance them to delve into ideas and concepts. LSP has been developed over 10 years ago by Robert Rasmussen and today it is used in severa organisational context for team building, strategy and vision definitions and to reveal organisations’ inconsistencies and problems.

It’s well known that when we build tridimensional objects with our hands we activate different areas of our brain, enhancing our creative and conceptual thinking and letting hidden ideas to come to light and to connect in a brand new way. LEGO bricks become individual models in the hands of people taking part to LSP workshops, so that interaction and communication among participant is mediated by their models, improving a constructive and effective dialogue aiming at sharing ideas on a metaphoric and symbolic level, extending the limits of what we know that we know.

LSP is based on Seymur Papert’s research on constructivism: LSP is based on workshops that brings around a table the key people of an organisation: they are asked to build LEGO models of their perceptions and experiences and through the guide of a trained Facilitator, they are invited to tell the story and the underlying concepts of their models, to share their visions so that at the end participants are able to build a shared model together. The final model is the results that comes out from a set of complex cognitive process and represent decisions and actions shared and agreed by all participants.

The LEGO-Box to be built in Ferrara @ Restauro 2013

The LEGO-Box to be built in Ferrara @ Restauro 2013

At Restauro 2013, starting from an experimentation already started, the Department of Architecture of the University of Ferrara is organising a number of LSP workshop to bring a new light on the concept of Heritage and encourage the discussion about its value and role in todays’ society.

The Department of Architecture of the University of Ferrara has already started experimenting the application of LSP within its educational activities, running LSP workshop with its students to understand what is their idea of Heritage. The outcome of these workshops was an intense experience of thinking and sharing new ideas, that revealed concepts that the young participant did not learn in books, but they generated and literally created, through the use of LEGO bricks, a number of highly original and deep concepts and revealing their ability to think, analyse and reflect . [Video of the experience].

At Restauro 2013, one workshop will bring together international students from the department of Architecture and the faculty of Management who will be invited to reflect, with LEGO, on new ways to combine the architectural and artistic requirements with the managing and organisational needs. A second workshop will involve local authorities to consider the value of Heritage and the local situation – a very particular one, given the damages that Emilia-Romagna faced after May 2012’s earthquake.

LSP workshops will be held in a LEGO-Box: visitors will be allowed to observe and listen to the whole workshops while they will be running. At the same time, the exhibition area will host several meetings and speeches focusing on LEGO, creativity, inclusive design and their relationship with Heritage. A number of international speakers will share their experiences, presenting their works, research and activities.

University of Ferrara Stand at Restauro 2013

University of Ferrara Stand at Restauro 2013

More updates about the event, will be posted soon.

If you want to know more, please, post a comment or write directly to me.

If you have ideas or you would like to participate and present you experience related to LEGO, LSP, Heritage and inclusive design at the Exhibition, get in touch! 🙂


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