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Project: "Many Happy re-Turns"
Company:Transformable Intelligent Environments Laboratory
Designer(s): Marianthi Liapi, Elli Gkologkina, Konstantinos-Alketas Oungrinis, Greece
Category: Other Products designs, Student
User's Profile : User's Profile

Entry Description: Many Happy re-Turns is an object designed to materially facilitate the "learning through play" pedagogical approach and generate the possibilities for children to infuse imaginative play into their everyday living and educational environments. It is a single yet highly transformative element that creates the possibilities for playful interaction and communication by providing seven basic spatial configurations, as a single object, and open-ended settings for two or more, limited only by the imagination. The object is initially presented as a chair, baring a number of morphological influences that trigger a child’s imagination. When children begin to turn it over, and over, they begin to identify in it a variety of known shapes, ranging from animals (elephant, turtle, dove) to archetypical forms (house, milk box, boat). When more Many Happy re-Turns modules come together in a group, the result follows the activities of the children, assisting them in play scenarios, play personalities, play patterns and zones. This creates the conditions for a variety of play modes comprised of construction play, fantasy play, creative play, symbolic play and play with rules, through individual, parallel, onlooking and group activities. During all these interactions, children are presented with different opportunities to develop and fine-tune their developmental skills and abilities. The form of the object was designed so that it can be easily pushed, rolled, lifted and re-located by children, as well as to get nested by grown-ups in order to save space when it is not used. It is all made of corrugated cardboard. The colorful sides where made to increase variety. The blackboard surface was added to help personalize the teaching process. As an object it is very rigid, yet lightweight, and most-importantly safe for children, who can very easily get familiar with its scale. Grown-ups can also use it as a seat.

About the Designer/Company
Marianthi Liapi is a registered architect in Greece. She holds a Diploma in Architecture and Engineering from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki/AUTh and a MSc degree in Design and Computation from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology/MIT. For her studies in the US she was awarded scholarships from the Fulbright Foundation, the Michelis Foundation, the Gerontelis Foundation and the MIT SA+P. During 2006-2007, she was a Research Associate at AUTh investigating the impact of digital design tools and techniques on contemporary architectural education. In 2008, she began teaching from an Adjunct Lecturer’s position at the Technical University of Crete (TUC). Currently she is a Research Associate at the TUC Transformable Intelligent Environments laboratory. She is also a PhD candidate at AUTh. Her research interests are grounded in the field of architecture and from there on they are branching out in transformable intelligent environments, extreme environments, learning environments and playscapes, as well as in visual communication and strategies for information design. She employs a human-centered approach to research the experiential ergonomics of space through the application of architecturally flexible and technologically intelligent structures. She has developed two specific approaches for the successful implementations of IT in design titled psychospatiality and sensponsive architecture, in collaboration with Kostis Oungrinis. So far, her research work has been presented in international architecture (ACADIA, eCAADe, SIGraDi, EAAE/ENHSA, EuropIA) and interdisciplinary conferences (ICCMSE, EPA, ICSC, IPA, IAC), in refereed journal publications and books. She is annually involved with the organization and teaching of international architecture workshops. In 2002 she received an honourable mention at the ACADIA DDE Competition. In 2008 she received the Europe 40 under 40 Architecture Award. In 2015, her Many Happy re-Turns project was a Silver Winner at the IDA International Design Awards.