LENS Ջ BLOCK: World as Construction Kit

Silver, J.S. "LENS Ջ BLOCK: World as Construction Kit"


Purpose and meaning of the physical world can be re-assigned and re-made by individuals as they go rather than being pre-fixed by people who came before them. But this mindset is more rare than it should be if we want an empowered population full of creative powerful beings. So can we make special tools that by design help people to put into practice the mindset and actionable behavior that: The World is a Construction Kit? We can, and in fact people have already done so with some existing tools which I will present. Then, I will present several new digital construction kits with a focus on two, Drawdio and Makey Makey, that are designed to focus attention on the world as the construction kit. Rather than combining kit-parts that come in a box, participants take pieces of the world they live in and re-purpose and re-combine these everyday objects from their life.

I formalize this type of construction kit, explaining how it takes the constructive aspect of a traditional wooden block, and the world-transforming multiplicative aspect of the traditional looking glass lens, to make a block-and-lens-in-one, which I call a Constructive Lens. I consider traditional construction kits like LEGO, or kits that aren't necessarily thought of as "construction kits" per se, like Painting Kits: Brush/Paint/Canvas, and show how to transform these traditional construction kits, which offer their own pre-fixed components, to the realm where the world, that is the everyday objects in one's life, is instead acting as the components of the kit.

The ultimate goal of the thesis is to show how we can we make tools and activities, "Constructive Lenses," that, by design, catalyze:

re-seeing (lens) the everyday world as something we can re-make (block)

The thesis approaches this goal through a rich narrative with thick description of design studies and case studies, intended to experientially model the process of motivating, making, and deploying Constructive Lenses to hundreds of thousands of people.

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