LEGO® and Maker Culture: You have to take things apart if you seek to put everything together.

IMG_0304You may not have heard of it, but you will!

The Maker Movement is an evolution of millions of people who are starting their own small businesses dedicated to creating and selling self-made products that has come to prominence in the last decade. In this world of mass-produced products, modern technology has made it easier than ever for a single individual to create and distribute items that are customisable and unique. It is anticipated that this growing shift will continue to affect the economy and may have implications on large retailers.  It has even spawned a manifesto.

People in the Maker Movement have all contributed to and evolved the Maker Culture – a kind of technology-based extension of DIY culture, on steroids.  As described in Wikipedia:

“Typical interests enjoyed by the maker culture include engineering-oriented pursuits such as electronics, robotics, 3-D printing, and the use of CNC (computer numerical control) tools, as well as more traditional activities such as metalworking, woodworking, and traditional arts and crafts. The subculture stresses new and unique applications of technologies, and encourages invention and prototyping. There is a strong focus on using and learning practical skills and applying them creatively.”

To close off the week, we wanted to share an article from the New York Times, linking LEGO® and the Maker Culture.  If you’re on this site, you probably share our love of LEGO® and no doubt encourage your kids to play with them.  Thomas de Monchaux points out in this article that LEGO® was the starting point for many makers.  Sure, LEGO® encourages creation, that is easy to see.  But it also allows demolition and forces reconstruction, in new and different ways.  It stimulates a “culture of resourcefulness” – the need to scan what is in front of you, find useful pieces and apply them in new ways to build something unique.  It is a valuable skill.

As Thomas puts it:

“Because nothing comes from nothing, and nothing goes entirely out of the world, you have to take things apart if you seek to put everything together.”

However, now, its Friday and the end of a busy and productive week, and tonight we’re off to see The LEGO Movie with our kids.  Everything is, indeed, awesome.  We hope you have a wonderful weekend!  🙂

 

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