The Language of Materials
So, here's something we've noticed about the world – first, we start talking to each other about patterns emerging around us. Then we discover that others are having the same conversations in their own circles, clear across the world. Little pockets of interest begin to expand and join up until there is a cross-cultural, cross-disciplinary groundswell of thought and action that enters the collective consciousness – and then we all start heading in the same direction! Bucket Challenge, anyone? It happens in fashion, music, education, you name it. Usually the attention surges from one extreme to the other, and then finds its way to a balance somewhere in the middle.
At thinkined, we respond to these patterns by pulling the pieces together, examining other viewpoints, and re-mixing everything until we feel we have something valuable to say about it. Then we pop-up in the community, bringing people together to explore, discuss, un-structure, and evolve the collective thought-bubble. Lately, our brains have been exploding with a combo of big ideas: Nature. Materials. Generations. Narrative. Risk. And that's exactly how Material World, um... materialized!
Maybe you've noticed families making donations in lieu of gifts; major retailers moving away from gender-specific signage; the trend towards gifting communities like tool libraries; parents shifting consumption habits; friends redirecting their energy towards purposeful ownership and connection. And maybe your school has begun to recognize loose parts as an integral part of inquiry learning. These are all conscious choices connected to how we interact with "stuff". So now that we're all talking the same language, it's time to look more closely at our material world for a better understanding of the depth of learning it offers –WHY materials are so versatile, how we can use them to honour children's thinking, and how we can move from "playing" to "learning" in the minds of parents and educators.
At ThinkinEd, we work almost exclusively with reusable materials as part of a virtuous circle of learning. We recognize that we have a choice in how we live and learn in our material world. This is not about just playing with stuff but about breaking down the components of materials to examine the intelligence within; to opening our minds to their cross-curricular potential; and to discovering the unending capacity of materials to encourage relationship, emotion, acceptance, and more.
See you at the exhibit!
Simone and Aviva