Honoring Seymour Papert
Professor Seymour Papert, one of our most inspiring and influential visionaries on children’s creativity, play and learning, passed away on July 31, 2016.
For more than 30 years, Seymour Papert was a close partner for the LEGO Group and had a unique and long-lasting impact on our view on children. Papert’s studies of how children make sense of the world inspired a philosophy that guided some of the most influential LEGO products and keeps serving as extraordinary inspiration for how all LEGO entities, LEGO fans and LEGO communities support children’s creativity, play and learning.
Seymour Papert said that the knowledge children experience when they interact with technology is not something that is separate from their passion for toys and the things they do before coming to school. The same goes for LEGO play. It is a hands-on, minds-on way of learning that empowers children to be creative, engaged, lifelong learners.
“Seymour Papert was a dear friend and a very close partner to the LEGO Group and the LEGO Foundation. From the very first time I heard him speak and throughout our more than 30 years of cooperation, I was absolutely fascinated about him and his view on how children learn through experimentation. It was obvious to both of us that we should work together. We shared the exact same values and views on learning through play and he has had a groundbreaking impact on our ideas and approach.” says Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen.
The journey with Seymour Papert began in the early 1980s and lead to a long-lasting partnership between the LEGO Group and the MIT Media Lab from 1985 that still continues today. Papert’s ideas served as an inspiration for the LEGO MINDSTORMS kit and in 1989, the LEGO Group endowed a chair at the MIT Media Lab. Papert became the first LEGO Professor of Learning Research and after he became professor emeritus, the name of the professorship was modified, in his honor, to the LEGO Papert Professorship of Learning Research.
We are very proud that the professorship was passed on to Professor Mitch Resnick as the LEGO Papert Professor of Learning Research. Resnick nurtures and grows the ideas from Seymour Papert and continues to strengthen and inspire children and communities to creativity, playfulness and learning.