The theory of loose parts plays a major role in the philosophy and planning of Play Lab. Simon Nicholson proposed that our education and culture conditions us to believe that not everyone is inherently creative, and changing the tone of work and play to promote potential creativity may help change that assumption.
My favorite quote from this classic article is on my wall:
“In any environment, both the degree of inventiveness and creativity, and the possibility of discovery, are directly proportional to the number and kind of variables in it.”
From small items to large ones, from new to recycled, the materials with endless options are the ones that engage children to try something new, see what works, and try again. Rather than planning for an outcome, planning for an experience that can only be revealed by users is a one-of-a-kind opportunity, impossible to replicate. In a world full of so many copies, isn’t an opportunity to be original refreshing?