Games for History

The design process

The culture of childhood meets the culture of design.

The "Games for History" project derives from the need to create outdoor games compatible with historic gardens; games conceived for innovative and interesting uses, in a dialogue with advanced pedagogic research. The multi-disciplinary work team consisted of Marina Rosa, President of the “Centro Documentazione Residenze Reali Lombarde”, who involved Rodrigo Rodriquez, historic Italian design entrepreneur, in the role of Project Manager, Susanna Mantovani, lecturer at the Bicocca University, as pedagogic coordinator and Michele Zini di ZPZ Partners, as project design director.

  • Rodrigo Rodriquez
    Project Manager
  • Marina Rosa
    President of the CDRR, "Centro di Documentazione Residenze Reali"
  • Michele Zini
    ZPZ Partners,
    Project Design Director
  • Susanna Mantovani
    Lecturer, Pedagogic coordinator
  • Daria Manenti
    Project atelierista
The idea is born from the minds of children.
The children lived the landscape and world of art through a free and joyful exploration.
The project is based on the idea of entrusting the genesis of new ideas to the creativity of children through an atelier-workship. In such a context, it is precisely the viewpoint of the youngest which becomes the design brief. The activities took place at the Istituto Scolastico Salvo D’Acquisto nursery school in Monza. Here the two-year workshop offered numerous occasions for experimentation and activities supervised by the atelierista Daria Manenti, flanked by two young designers from Milan Polytechnic, Francesco Locatelli and Carmelo Zocco. Sculptures, drawings and life-size models made by the children generated a work-in-progress organised into "microstories", documents shared with the professional designers. The result is 30 original concepts for outdoor games, deriving from the children's ideas and ready to become reality.

The designers taking part in the "Games for History" Project are: Alberto Meda, Paolo Lomazzi with Michela Schirinzi and Sarah Marinaro, Aldo Cibic with Diego Lucchini, Donata Paruccini, Substrato, Tullio Zini and ZPZ Partners.
The pedagogic project
"Working on and with children as future adults is a revolutionary strategy", wrote Bruno Munari.
The pedagogic project guiding the initial choices, from the design scenarios to the atelier work in the school, is based on children's ability to interpret and modify the world, according to a culture of childhood which considers children as competent, active, curious and constructors. Susanna Mantovani, lecturer at Milan's Bicocca University, coordinated the entire pedagogic process and presented a paper on this project during "Games for History", a conference organised at Milan's Triennial Design Museum on 28 November 2016.
Click here to read the extract of her presentation.