Theory and Science


The science behind LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® is very simple really: we build knowledge by building things.

Developmental psychologist Jean Piaget developed a theory surrounding accommodation and assimilation. This idea, one that was revolutionary at the time but is now a widely accepted theory, is that we learn through physical interaction.

The theory he created is called Constructivism and it is based around three core ideas:

  1. We learn through creating our own version of the world.
  2. We learn through teaching others about our versions of that world.
  3. We all learn kinesthetically to some degree.

The idea is designed so that it is possible for any person to find their voice through using their hands. They can seek clarification through construction. What is built is then used as a tool to aid in the explanation of whatever concept the builder was trying to convey.

“Don’t have a meeting with yourself about what to build. Just start building and let your hands take charge.”

It is because of this that LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® is an ideal tool for learning and discovery, no matter what the age or position an individual holds within a company. Play allows for creativity to be unlocked and all kinds of ideas to be explored. These ideas can then be harnessed to create a superb collaborative solution to whatever problem the team faces.

Whether the problem is one that is complex and multifaceted, or whether the environment is a challenging one – no matter the problem, Constructivism allows for a solution to be found quickly and easily.


How Does Constructivism Work?

Although it has been adapted and changed over the years, Constructivism is widely accepted in one way. We learn from building. It is a theory, based within observation and scientific study, that stated that we, as human beings, like to construct our own view of the world. Although this is metaphorical, it is also quite literal in the case of LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY®. We like to experience things, as humans, and convey meaning to that experience. We experience and we reflect.

This is where LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® comes in, allowing for each individual to play hard, building how they see the solution to a problem in their own way. There is no cookie cutter solution, but instead participants are encouraged to break the mould. Through creating an environment where each person can be themselves they are able to create their own unique solution to a problem and develop it.

This is the first part of Constructivism, the second part comes with sharing ideas.

Once, with LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® for instance, an idea has been built it is then up to the builder to explore that model, explaining its concepts to the group. Through doing this they are not only educating the group but they are educating themselves in the process. This is a method called ‘Learning by Teaching’ or the LdL method.


A Science and a Philosophy

LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® is a methodology but it is also a philosophy. It has a rooting in both, providing not only a way of thinking practically, but also in a far more abstract sense.

LSP introduces a whole new way of thinking. It develops senses in a way other problem solving techniques don’t. It allows for discovery. It allows for problem solving and personal growth.

Building with LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® it is possible to create a way of solving problems akin with lateral thinking. It equips the participants with a brand new way of looking at problems, equipping them with a brand new way of being able to deal with any challenges that come their way.

Knowing how to solve problems with LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® is another tool to add to the belt of an array of problem solving techniques.

Although versatile LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® is not necessarily the best route to solve every problem. If you think that it would be ideal to solve the problem you have been tasked with solving then please do not hesitate to contact us.

Alternatively, LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® is a fantastic team building tool. It brings teams closer together through a shared experience. Click here to contact us about using LSP for a fantastic team building.