Reggio Children | Centro Internazionale Loris Malaguzzi | Reggio Emilia Approach

The languages of gears

The languages of gears Atelier was born from a collaborative project between Reggio Children and Comer Industries, and wishes to investigate the phenomena of mechanics, the motion of bodies and the multiple principles of physics governing it.


“… adult constructions, which are real, can’t fall. Ours have something more: they can be taken to bits, we can reconstruct them, and have fun re-trying and making them collapse again…”  Martina, 5,9 years  


Construction is a creative act advancing through hypothesis, a “practice” of imagination and intelligence where processes and strategies are actuated and made visible. It is a capacity for experimentation connecting action and thought, and for combining already known concepts in new unknown ways. 


The construction of gear mechanisms, of intermeshing series and transmissions,  implies a direct experimentation of the laws of physics regulating our daily life; it implies the capacity for discriminating between sizes, surfaces, and weights, of evaluating intersections, sequences, equilibrium, and pertinence. Artefacts reveal their beauty by making perceptible the principles of physics on which they are founded, the creative processes that have generated them, their internal logic, the organisation of their design, and their connections with context.


To support these capacities we need spaces capable of creating connections between different disciplinary competences that can often seem highly distant from each other. A context capable of leaving space for error, stumbling, and chance, and of holding the memory of the tracks of research and experimentation, left by children and adults.