The Ray of Light Atelier is a place of research and experimentation where light in its different forms is investigated, through explorations provoking wonder and curiosity, and which stimulate creativity and deeper knowledge.
The Ray of Light Atelier sprang from an inter-disciplinary group of architects, atelierista’s, pedaogista’s, physicists, teachers and educators. It is a place that welcomes children of all ages, teachers, cultural workers, and parents, with the intention of favouring an approach to reality that gives meaning and greater freedom to the scientific thinking innate in human beings, and which seeks enrichment.
Light and the phenomena of light are doors leading to discovery and knowledge of the world. They can be explored though the ‘classical’ range of visible light, which can be broken down into colours, but also through the invisible spectrum with, for example, infra-red and ultra-violet rays. There is particular investigation of the phenomena in which rays of light are disassembled, refracted, reflected, diffracted, propagated and emitted.
This idea led to the Illuminatories: contexts organised around a knowledge concept or problem, and offering different tools, materials, questions, encounters and access points. These do not guide investigators towards a single solution but make different journeys possible, and are particularly conducive to interaction and the construction of group learning.
Through the means of different languages – words, drawings, sounds, constructions, visual compositions – the Ray of Light Atelier offers an active approach to science, with which we can construct and verify hypotheses and theories. It is a place of research, dissemination and formative experience where the imagination, the fantastical, and the narrative form explanations and interpretations in organic ways with more scientific and rational processes.
IN DEPTH ANALYSIS
The Ray of Light atelier was created in 2005 by an interdisciplinary project group made up of architects, atelierista’s, pedaogista’s, physicists, teachers, and educators. That same year a first prototype of the atelier was presented at the Genoa Science Festival, and on 23 February 2006 it was shown in the exhibition-atelier space for the opening of the Loris Malaguzzi International Centre. Over the years the atelier has continued its reinvention, presenting constant changes in the spaces and what it offers.
It has returned twice to the Genoa Science festival, in 2006 and 2008, was shown in Udine in 2008/2009, at the Perugia Science Fest in 2009, Naples’ City of Science in 2010, the Explora Museum in Rome in 2010/2011, and Bergamo Science