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Making Media Studies

The Creativity Turn in Media and Communications Studies

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David Gauntlett

In Making Media Studies, David Gauntlett turns media and communications studies on its head. He proposes a vision of media studies based around doing and making – not about the acquisition of skills, as such, but an experience of building knowledge and understanding through creative hands-on engagement with all kinds of media. Gauntlett suggests that media studies scholars have failed to recognise the significance of everyday creativity – the vital drive of people to make, exchange, and learn together, supported by online networks. He argues that we should think about media in terms of conversations, inspirations, and making things happen. Media studies can be about genuine social change, if we recognise the significance of everyday creativity, work to transform our tools, and learn to use them wisely. Making Media Studies is a lively, readable, and heartfelt manifesto from the author of Making is Connecting.
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Chapter 7. The Lego System as a Tool for Thinking, Creativity, and Changing the World

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THE LEGO SYSTEM AS A TOOL FOR THINKING, CREATIVITY, AND CHANGING THE WORLD

This chapter looks at LEGO as a tool for supporting creative thinking, developing creative cultures, and contributing to processes which might make a difference in how the world works. My thoughts about these ambitious themes are not plucked from nowhere, and nor are they those of a passive observer, but they might be treated cautiously for a different reason, because they draw upon my experience of several years of close collaboration with the LEGO Group and the LEGO Foundation in Billund, Denmark. Some information about those activities appears in the previous chapter. More briefly: from 2005, I worked with the LEGO Group on the development of the consultancy process, LEGO Serious Play, and since 2008, I have worked with the LEGO Learning Institute and the LEGO Foundation exploring play, creativity and learning.

In this chapter I will begin by considering the LEGO System, and its reach as a cultural system. Then I will look at LEGO as a tool to support thinking and collaboration. I will introduce a model of creative cultures, which will be applied to LEGO communities, and then maker culture more generally, and consider how individual imagination and collaborative creativity can work together. Finally I will consider some ways in which LEGO products and communities might be said—as in the title of this chapter—to be ‘changing the world’. ← 97 | 98 →

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