I recently came across an interesting chain of thought derived from a compatriot of ours Andrus Laansalu (Estonia) which to my mind can add value to LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY™ reasoning quite well. See if this makes any sense to you:

Even though this could be started from further away in a more abstract dimension, I decided to begin with The Big Bang.

We all know that from the time of the Big Bang, particles have been floating around in space. At first the universe consisted of mainly hydrogen but as cosmic objects emerged and later collapsed, temperatures starting from 9 million degrees enabled several hydrogen atoms to merge and create new elements and then again new ones: indeed all the elements in the universe seem to have been created in either a supernova explosion or just the natural burning process of the stars.

The inherent design principle of matter is therefore in its essence of combinatoric kind. Lower elements merge into higher ones, atoms then constitute molecules, molecules materials and materials can be combined into things. Rather a straightforward logic which we are surely all familiar with.

Similarly if we observe evolution in nature, we come across essentially the same design principle: every living thing is a product of a chain of combinations that can in theory be tracked back some 4 billion years to the very first traces of life. Genetic information has been combined together to try to overcome external and internal obstacles for all that time and the combinations that have worked, have survived. The same logic that works in the universe, is therefore fully usable in the living things as well.

It seems however, that biological evolution is not where this chain ends as the combining of different things is fully embedded in yet another level – our thinking appears to work on the notion of combinatorics just as well. Taking icons, indices and symbols and putting them together in our mind, we construct the world around us. All people are therefore playing with different pieces of the World at all times because that is the only way we can get by. So not only is our brain hardwired for play, it is hardwired for nothing but play.

Mr. Laansalu continues his speech by saying that no person is therefore superior to any other because we are all always combinators (i.e. we are players!) and it is just the arsenal that is different for each profession, but that is getting out of our focus.

What I derive from all this is that Lego® therefore seems to be one of the purest forms of reality that takes use of the only technique for living we do know – and that is playing. Whether this competes with the other explanations to why might Lego® be a good tool to use at serious processes, I guess time will tell. But it sounds promising.

1 Comment
  1. Gene Toland 14 years ago

    Madis, thanks for these thoughts on how we are all connected from the beginning. have you read Christopher Alexander, an architect who bases his principles for design and building on something similar.

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