LEGO Foundation and Reggio Children Foundation – Loris Malaguzzi Center open space dedicated to play research

The LEGO Foundation has teamed up with the Reggio Children Foundation to open the Loris Malaguzzi Center, a space to investigate how play changes with digital technology.

In order to promote play and look at how play and digital technology intersect, the LEGO Foundation has partnered with the Fondazione Reggio Children – Loris Malaguzzi Center to create Scintillae at the Centro Internazionale Loris Malaguzzi in Reggio Emilia, Italy.

Scintillae is described as an ”experimental space” that was opened on April 12 by the Mayor of Reggio Emilia Luca Vecchi, President of the Fondazione Reggio Children – Centro Loris Malaguzzi , Carla Rinaldi, LEGO Foundation Head of the Research Area Bo Stjerne Thomsen and LEGO Foundation Head of the Experiences Area Søren Holm.

The press release explains how people will be able to engage with play at the centre:

Through play, children actively build a model of the world based on reciprocity and sharing. Scintillae offers the opportunity for small groups of children, adolescents, adults of all ages, to approach play, thanks to interactions between analog and digital worlds. Children express themselves through the “hundred languages” of Loris Malaguzzi, meaning the simultaneity of “thinking with the hands, doing with the head, listening and speaking, understanding with joy, loving and always being amazed”.

In the environment, physical materials – both natural and manufactured – will be available alongside digital technology and tools – such as computers, tablets, microscopes – the expectation that the materials will be used to create, then the digital tools will be used to give life to such creations, bridging the gap between analog and digital.

LEGO Foundation Scilae

“Scintillae is a magical place in our time, a one-of-a-kind place in all the world, for thoughtful and highly anticipated encounters between materials and digital technology,” said Luca Vecchi, Mayor of Reggio Emilia Muncipality. “The ‘scintilla’ springs from the playful imagination and the intuitiveness of children, our true teachers, but also from the same qualities in adults: an inclusive proposal for everyone. Contaminations, languages and new knowledge are expected. These things are appreciated in Reggio Emilia, the city that welcomes this subtle experience with great interest, the fruit of the beautiful and important relationship between the Fondazione Reggio Children and the LEGO Foundation”.

“We’ve brought together our organizations and communities in a shared space, to elevate the understanding of technologies for children’s learning through play and will be inviting local communities and international partners to further develop and share these examples internationally,” said the LEGO Foundation Global Head of Research, Bo Stjerne Thomsen.

The LEGO Foundation has summarised the project as follows:

Scintillae is an experimental research project on play and learning in the digital age with the aim of generating other places in other diverse social and cultural contexts for children and people of all ages where knowledge and ideas can be built through play using physical materials and digital technologies.

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Graham was the Editor up until November 2020. He has plenty of experience working on LEGO related projects. He has contributed to various websites and publications on topics including niche hobbies, the toy industry and education. Follw Graham on Twitter @grahamh100.

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