8 May 2007, Comments Off on It’s not the Tragedy of the Commons, it’s only Lego

It’s not the Tragedy of the Commons, it’s only Lego

Author: Helen

I took two little boys to the National Gallery on Anzac day, where Olafur Eliasson’s cubic structural evolution project 2004 was on show. In case you think that’s a serious sounding exhibit to take little boys to, it’s a travelling Lego city, which just keeps getting bigger… and bigger… and bigger, as it travels the world. To a little kid, it’s just more Lego than they’ve ever seen in their little lives. And they get to build some of it.
Image from http://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/olafureliasson/
It’s extremely beautiful.

Here’s how it works. The kids wait to get to the lego. They have kid herders to let them through, a few at a time, and tell them when their time’s up. Here’s why it works. The grownups are the boss of the kids. The kids know there are rules. No one kid, or group of kids, is allowed to monopolise. Otherwise, their mum or dad has to take them out. End of story.
Image from http://www.ngv.vic.gov.au/olafureliasson/
Apparently, for one school in the US, far from our brutal ways, it was all too hard. It’s the subject of a fascinating Lego post on Troppo. The commenters, like me, all disagree with the way the teachers handled the Great Lego Social Experiment, but for different reasons. Lego fans, go over there and read the whole thing.

A genteel old man who’d evidently been up since dawn at the Shrine, complete with tweed jacket and camel trousers, stood for ages gazing at the lego city. It’s never too late to channel your inner little boy.

Comments (0)

  • Michelle Griffin says:

    Helen, if you’re reading this on Thursday may 10, could you email me? i want to get comment from you for a sunday age story on education … I cannot see anywhere on your blog to email you directly

  • shula says:

    It’s just magical, isn’t it?

  • Helen says:

    In your inbox now Michelle.
    Shula, it was a good move to make it all white, wasn’t it?
    Lego is insanely expensive. I wonder if he got some kind of bulk deal?

  • Mikhela says:

    If you see a tiny little house in between the skyscrapers, about six blocks high, I did it, here in Brisbane some months ago. There were no kids about so I snuck in and had a go. I think that’s about my only contribution to Art. It was great fun.

  • Helen says:

    Oh, I wish I’d known when I went there!

  • dogpossum says:

    Sorry to dump this comment here in this completely unrelated post, but did you ever fix your podcasting/audio file problem (http://castironbalcony.media2.org/?p=340)?
    Drop me an email if you still need a hand (if I can’t do it, I’ll get some tips from The Squeeze). We set up a podcast for http://www.mlx6.com doing everything from recording interviews with bands, editing the show and adding in songs, interviews, etc, then putting it all online as audio files, then making the ‘podcast’ bit. And we started with a sum total of zero podcasting knowledge. But one of us was good with sound equipment, one of us could make websites and one of us could do rss and other tecky stuff.

    If you’re really stuck, odeo (www.odeo.com) is a simple option – you can upload music, then pop a media player into the code on your website.

  • Oh, I saw Michelle Griffin’s piece. I think it was co-authored. Skimmed over it, but now I’ll have to go back and royde it!

    Are these your pics Helen?

  • Helen says:

    No, they’re from the NGV’s website.
    Seems MG wanted voxpops about parental guilt. She didn’t get onto me, because I was working all Friday, but I coulda gone on for ever on that topic.

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