LI4E & Urban Conga Present: The Tree of Technology

Learning is for Everyone teamed up with the interactive art installation group, Urban Conga, as the “Crowd-sourced Creatives” team in a 48 hour build calledThe Deconstruction.”  We used the opportunity of the the University of South Florida Engineering Expo being held on the same weekend as the Deconstruction project, to engage as many people as possible, mostly young people, in the creative process of both deconstruction and creation.

For two days, visitors to the USF Engineering Expo enjoyed taking apart a variety of electronics and other items, itself a creative process that a lot of youth don’t often the opportunity to experience – at least not with permission!  With help from members of Urban Conga, Learning is for Everyone, and Tampa Bay Maker Chuck Stephens, who will be joining in the 2013 Tampa Bay Mini Maker Faire along with Urban Conga next month, we celebrated the process of discovery through disassembly with hundreds of youth who came through the Expo.

The pure joy of taking things apart was almost palpable, as some students spent up to an hour in our Deconstruction Zone in the rapture of working with tools and discovering the inner workings of everything from speakers to cell phones to old computers and printers, calculators, keyboards and game controllers.

Urban Conga mined the remains of all those items in the “Re-Design” portion of our collaboration, ultimately creating an interactive “Tree of Technology” that they took into downtown Tampa for the public to enjoy. One Local said “This is such a great idea.  My children have never been so excited to learn and explore something on their own. I think this gives a whole new meaning to the phrase Free Choice Learning.”

We deeply enjoyed collaborating with Urban Conga on this great project, and believe we all learned an enormous amount in this effort, and among those discoveries is that the joy of taking apart and the joy of reassembly are equally wonderful and edifying!




[The Tree of Technology] – Urban Conga & Li4E from Ryan Swanson on Vimeo.