Designer: The Exploratorium-- Mike Petrich, Karen Wilkinson, Walter Kitundu, Luigi Anzivino, Ryan Jenkins, Bronwyn Bevan
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Category: Design Education Initiatives
The Tinkering Studio
The Tinkering Studio is a public space at the Exploratorium to support the creative ideas of visitors, collaborators, and staff. It is a place to explore science, art, and design in meaningful ways—based on personal ideas, questions, and explorations—enabling everyone to build a new understanding of the world.
The Tinkering Studio is based on a constructionist theory of learning which asserts that knowledge is not simply transmitted from teacher to learner, but actively constructed by the mind of the learner. Constructionism suggests that learners are more likely to make new ideas while actively engaged in making an external artifact. The Tinkering Studio supports the construction of knowledge within the context of designing and building personally meaningful artifacts. We create opportunities for people to "think with their hands" in order to construct meaning and understanding.
Core77: How did you learn that you had been recognized by the jury?
We projected the webcast of the award ceremony in our prototyping space and gathered as a team to watch. It was very exciting to even be nominated, let alone receive a notable mention among so many other great projects!
What's the latest news or development with your project?
We have been experimenting with ways of using home-made play-doh to play around with electrical circuits and LED lights. Inspired by the work of AnnMarie Thomas, we've taken that idea and run with it. You can check out a short video of our experiments here.
Also, we're in the very early stages of developing a paper pop-up workshop that incorporates structural paper-craft elements and, again, electrical circuitry, switches, and lights. Some very early work can be seen here.
Recently we've tried making our own popsicles to find out what happens when you lick it while passing electrical current through the ice... No joke!
Read on for full details on the project and jury comments.