The Unprecedented Educational Program of the Theo Jansen Project in Chile

Designed together with the Fablabs of the University of Chile and Catholic University, and in partnership with the National Center of Contemporary Art Cerrillos and the CECREA Centers of the Ministry of Culture, Arts and Heritage, the educational program offers workshops for children and young adults that will take place across the country.

During his stay in Chile before opening his Wind Algorithms exhibition, Theo Jansen visited the Fablab of the Catholic University and Fablab of the University of Chile, as well as the CECREA Center of the Metropolitan Region, in the San Joaquin district. It was the crowning of a month’s work to start an unprecedented educational program at a national level that complements the exhibition taking place in the National Center for Contemporary Art Cerrillos.

From May to December, both in Santiago and in different Regions of Chile, workshops will be developed on biomimicry, robotics, programming, 3D scanning, virtual robots, creativity, observation, movement and performance for children and young adult ages 6 to 25.

Danisa Peric and Theo Jansen in his visit in Fablab U. de Chile

Danisa Peric, Director at the U.Chile Fablab, explains: “In each workshop, through the development of a project, we will focus on observing the environment and its natural mechanisms to solve a challenge. Then, what we collect and study, we will translate to artificial systems and materialize it through new manufacturing technologies, such as 3D printers.” Learning this process, which brings together art and science methods, is very relevant today, furthermore, “to be able to cover the current challenges and build a future, different languages, visions and forms of knowledge are required, as well as discovering new aspects within the environment, recognizing the complexity of the world we are living in and observing the needs of society. This is where, among others, science and art appear, with rigor and as similar processes of creation and verification.”

Álvaro Meneses presenting Theo Jansen to his team in Fablab UC.

Alvaro Meneses, from FabLab UC, points out that they seek to reinforce the idea of ​​interdisciplinary work and show how science combined with art can generate creative solutions. “In Theo Jansen’s work you can see the spirit of a great manufacturer, but also a very rich artistic story. It is interesting to realize that a product always has a story, although we do not always see it. We think that the ‘hard’ capacities are separated from the ‘soft’ ones, but the best projects, those that solve big problems, always mix both. Doing these workshops is related to breaking that paradigm and we hope that children who participate will realize that technology and machines are at the service of creativity.”

An important part of the educational program will be to implement Fundación Mar Adentro’s Active Teachers Program, which supports the continuous and interdisciplinary training of teachers from different educational institutions, with emphasis on working outside of Santiago in the different regions of Chile. In this version the program invites facilitators of the CECREA program from different parts of Chile. They, after a call and selection, will create projects for children and young adults based on Jansen’s concepts. One of the benefits of being selected will be to visit the exhibition in Santiago with an agenda of activities that will enrich their experience. Then, the facilitators will carry out their workshops in the different CECREA centers throughout the country during the second semester of 2018.

Theo Jansen together with members of Cecrea San Joaquín during his visit.

In regions, the workshops will be implemented in different CECREA Centers of the Ministry of Cultures, Arts and Heritage. In addition to the activities designed by the facilitators, they will have the support of the Ecoscience Foundation’s Awareness Bus Program, which promotes science education in urban and rural sectors by bringing a mobile knowledge station to students. This time, in addition to reviewing concepts and promoting the observation of nature, they will offer workshops during the second semester of 2018 for students in different grade levels to design toy-animals with prefabricated pieces, recyclable materials and incorporate a sustainable energy source to achieve their movement.

*For more information about the workshops, visit Educational Program.