Archive for ‘LEGO SERIOUS PLAY’

February 10, 2013

Situated identities: a safety net to serious play

Situated identitiesIdentities and roles, in any kind of organised society, are said to be socially constructed: they are based on the implicit rules of collective agreement and acceptance. This makes most of such roles static, repetitive and defined independently by the individuals.
These socially constructed role-based identities are entwined with a number of implied relations that determine the quality of the relationships and define a set of rules of conduct that are accepted and never put into discussion. Such a situation is symptomatic of a society based on the ‘myth’ of hierarchies, scared of failing, motionless.
While the economic situation in Europe sinks, this immobile situation, that would call for changes and creativity, rather than experimenting on innovation, allows the fear to fail to prevail on the risk to succeed.
Society and people prefer to play safe rather than to put themselves into play and rather than assuming the responsibility of a change and play with those rules, they follow and reiterate practices that, being static and mindlessly repeated, have lead to a stagnant situation. A change is needed: Innovation is claimed as the key solution. But Innovation is not a good, is the result of a creative and dynamic approach.
Creativity requires flexibility, action and courage to try something new and the the will to explore what ifs. Rather than playing safe, if the aim is to discover new opportunities, we need to play. Seriously.

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February 2, 2013

Harkness Table and LSP: Differences and similarities

Harkness Table

Harkness Table

I was reflecting on my experience with architecture students at University of Ferrara and LEGO SERIOUS PLAY. [See the video]

I find amazing how students who did not have any clue about the content and the goals of the workshop engaged in the discussion and raised a number of enlightening ideas about Heritage. They were not asked, neither provided, any books or papers to read, the idea was to understand how a bunch of students in their early-twenties could theorise and think about Heritage independently, critically and collectively.

So, in my research about educative approaches that capitalise on collaboration and collaborative meaning-making, I’ve found about the Harkness Table. For those who are not familiar with it, this is an educative approach introduced in 1931 when Edward Harkness, a philanthropist, challenged Exeter University asking them to innovate education and provided them with an oval table. The idea behind the table, which was meant to allow 12/15 students to sit around together with their teacher, was to create a different approach to education where students were seen as a team and could be encouraged to take part to a discussion, interact and learn about collaborative practices, by reducing the influence of the teacher.

The idea of a class as a team  that capitalises on teamwork and encourages interaction among students in a free environment sounded a pretty close approach to that I adopted. The Harkness Table focuses a lot on these concepts, and I’ve found it thrilling. Though the more I read about it, the more the differences emerged.

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January 18, 2013

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.

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