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From Play to Purpose: Unveiling the Transformative Power of Bricks Through Four Levels of Engagement

“There is this known phenomenon,” Playwell Bricks CEO Jason Pyett tells me, “that our perception of bricks changes as we work more with them.” Pyett’s friend in education referred to these changes as the four levels of bricks.

The first level is seeing the bricks as a toy. “Just in and of itself. You go build your set and you have the joy and the experience of doing so.” Pyett is quick to explain that there’s nothing wrong with this level. “It’s quite perfect, just as it is, this perfect, isolated experience.”

Pyett revelled in this stage eight years ago, when a family trip to Disney rekindled his interest in bricks. Over the next year, he collected every set he could get his hands on.

All of that collecting and building experience moved him to the second level. “It’s a more creative level where you start building your own thing, you start seeing how things come together and exploring where you can take that.

“This is where most people stop,” says Pyett. “That’s where they peak and they don’t think about it much beyond that.” He chuckles. “This is where I started getting interested in the power of bricks to empower creativity.”

Pyett followed this interest. When he was collecting bricks, he’d noticed that many kids were just putting their sets together and leaving them that way, never playing with them again. That bothered him, so he decided to start hosting workshops to inspire kids to use their bricks in more creative ways. This, in turn, pushed his own creativity to new heights.

“The third level is when you get into kind of the designer mindset. You start thinking about how things are put together and taking it more to an engineering level. There’s the aesthetics and stability and functionality involved,” says Pyett. “And this level goes anywhere from the guy who builds his own whatever to designers that are building custom sets. It’s a broad base.”

Pyett knew he had reached this level when he figured out how to do a 45-degree wedge. “Then I looked at it and went, hmm, if I put it all in a circle, then it becomes a clock face. The connections in my brain started firing,” Pyett recalls. “That’s when I knew that I was a designer."

“The fourth level is where things start getting really interesting, where you start seeing how bricks apply to real life and how you can use them to explain things that are happening in life. Using it as a tool to understand more complex issues that are not necessarily evident.

“I think it was when I was coaching the LEGO® Robotics team where the level changed rom this creative tool to looking at all the other benefits that were being developed in the kids,” remembers Pyett.

He holds up a brick. “When you use these bricks as a metaphor and an analogy, then it becomes super powerful. It’s because of the simplicity of the tool and the fact that people can easily identify with it that you can use it explain these super complex problems in a simple, fun, and interactive manner.”

“And these are the qualities that I tap into when I host corporate workshops,” he tells me. In a recent corporate workshop for Toptal, he used bricks to illustrate how to build connections between social groups and bring people together. Pyett’s Linkedin and facebook pages are also filled with examples of how he uses bricks to break down complex problems.

As far as he knows, there isn’t a fifth level of bricks… yet. “As you discover more and you’re open to learning, then more and more levels are unfurled. I’ve only been on this journey for eight years. I know I’m just scratching the surface. I know that I think pretty deeply about things and I know there’s way more I have never even considered yet.

“That’s kind of the beauty of it. Bricks are one of those things that keep unfolding and you’ll never learn everything.”

Here at Playwell Bricks, inspiration is just the beginning. If you’d like to tap into Pyett’s wisdom to simplify complex issues for your team, press the Contact Us button below to learn more about his corporate workshops and let us know how we can help build your dreams.

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