Biomimetics and Biomimicry in Engineering

Serious Games

In Seminars and Keynotes on 2012/05/20 at 5:45 pm

Being playful was never so productive.

We have felt privileged to have Dr Poul Kyvsgard Hansen at Heriot-Watt for 3 days to train us as Lego ‘Serious Play’ facilitators.

From childhood we are hardwired to tell stories and use our hands to construct stories and metaphors. The current educational system might teach us out of creativity, so it is important that we go back to basics to retrieve those dormant skills with which to face the complex problems ahead of us.

We are looking into Lego to embed in our Engineering Design & Manufacture courses communication and strategy planning content.

Lego Serious Play has been used broadly in Scandinavian countries (lead by Dr Hansen’s team) as a tool for strategic management and innovation enhancement.

We run a little dry-run workshop on ‘what do researchers do’, and this was the insightful result:


Lego mini exercise – What do researchers do

(from top left to bottom right): Research for Ray is about developing new technologies and making the most of them (can you tell he works with VR equipment!?); Poul’s take was a circle which symbolises the iterative nature of research, from the knowledge acquisition, through to reflection, a hypothesis testing; Siva saw research as finding the right ‘tree’ after having to browse through many different bushes (and the flag on the miniman represents the baggage of knowledge the researcher brings on); Theo’s main points were ‘juggling’ many different ‘levers’ and knowledge dissemination; Tom thinks it is all about isolating the problem you want to tackle, and the board behind is all about dissemination, and telling the wider audience what you do. The left corner photo is the Pro-Lego set we will use in our teaching from this semester onwards.

We are bound to have a lot of fun with our students and our partner companies joining us for the Engineering Design programme. Click here if you would like to hear more, and/or get in touch.


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