Why Moving Parts?
Ever since Material World, we've been thinkin' a lot about things that move. First, Simone moved to a new house and new neighbourhood. Then, our materials moved to a new space when we leased a studio for our growing Cornerstore. At first the magnitude of all this moving escaped us, as we filled our days setting up shop in both places. Meanwhile, we were also developing an Engineer's Toolkit which we new would need to include some moving pieces. And we were engaged in a friendly debate – to glue or not to glue – with an educator in New Jersey – which led to the idea of 'un-gluing' our thinking. As the moving vs. not moving paradox swirled around us, the idea of a Moving Parts exhibit began to take shape.
And then, one freakishly warm Winter day, Aviva and I went for a walk and passed the house where I used to live. We noticed how sad and empty it looked since my family had moved out. When we lived there, it was bursting with energy and activity – kids spilling out the door, bikes zipping up the driveway, friends, family, visiting pets. So what changed? The house, once very much alive and in motion, was now devoid of motion – static, lonely, almost lifeless. That's when we realized the value of moving parts goes well beyond math, science, and engineering. The concept of moving parts goes to the very core of our existence!
Think about it. Toddlers lives are filled with moving parts – they touch, move, and investigate all kinds of interesting stuff, both indoors and out. They're constantly on the move and so are the people around them. Then they get to school. SIT STILL. Don't touch! Don't fidget, don't fiddle, don't poke, don't pull, don't jump, don't climb, don't hang upside down. All the movement that once guided their learning comes to a grinding halt – and with it, their spirit of curiosity, and their ability to think creatively.
So how can we inject life back into our schools, homes and communities? Well, the same way the new owners can breathe life into my old home. Fill them with moving parts! Imagine if we could build shareable libraries of materials that move between classrooms. Or move teachers around so they feel less isolated. We could move kids, too. They're the ultimate moving part! We already know they thrive in the outdoors, in risky play environments, and interactive multi-age settings. Their bodies are built to seek movement. It's how they learn. So let's get past all the stuff that's grinding us to a halt and set our thinking in motion. It's our job to manage, synchronize and remix all the moving parts in our lives – to create balance. Because when we get all the parts moving together, we create the power to move our world.
See you at the exhibit!
Simone and Aviva