dancers. They were intrigued by the idea and asked for more detail. I must have gotten carried away because I could see a certain anxiousness in the dancers' eyes. It then occurred to me that these dancers had devoted many years of their lives to movement and, in their own way, understood these issues much better than I did. I remembered contact improvisation, a kind of dancing in which dancers interact physically through a process of give and take and, through these interactions, produce a spontaneously choreographed dance. I then mentioned to the dancers that when programming autonomous robots, it is necessary to make the rules of interaction more explicit than they are among the dancers during a contact improvisation. There are also far fewer rules and kinds of movement. I then asked whether the kinds of interaction among dancers change because each contact improvisation produces a different dance, a different emergent effect. This question led to a rich discussion in which the dancers felt perfectly comfortable talking about "mechanism," "parallelism" and "emergence," but in a culturally meaningful way. My error was in giving the impression that "robotics" is an idea that comes from outer space. In fact, "robotics" was a part of the daily experience of these dancers. If I had been Vivet the anthropologist, I would have avoided the technology transfer mind-set I had used at the start.
Discovery Village could be thought of in different ways depending on how it is used. After reading about the problems in reskilling labor, I imagined Discovery Village as an environment installed within factories. After talking with a media company about the "textbook of the future," I began to think of Discovery Village as a learning environment where publishers could explore design-based learning. In seeing the favelas in Brazil, I imagined Discovery Village as a community square maintained by teenagers. After the riots in Los Angeles ( 1992), I imagined Discovery Village as a new kind of hangout that combined both physical and cognitive aerobics.
For Discovery Village to be an experiment in institutional redesign, it needs subjects operating within a social context. This is why it is a "living laboratory" and not just a research laboratory. Discovery Village experiments could facilitate the development of a variety of installations populated with a variety of microworlds, each with designing as the core activity. Discovery Village could serve as a resocialization mechanism through which the artificial barriers that separate science from art, school from play, or work from life are gradually dismantled. In place of these barriers one would find the growth of a commonwealth of skills. This is constructive revolution.
Ackermann E. ( 1991). "From decontextualized to situated knowledge: Revisiting Piaget's water-level experiment". In Idit Harel & Seymour Papert (Eds.) Constructionism (pp. 269-294). Norwood, NJ: Ablex.
Alexander C. R. ( 1964). Notes on the synthesis of form. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Apel W. ( 1972). Harvard dictionary of music. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press.