09 October 2021

Happy birthday Fondazione Reggio Children!

A day of celebration to present the collective installation “A community of living beings” at Chiostri di San Pietro

The collective installation with which, for its first 10 years of age, Fondazione Reggio Children-Centro Loris Malaguzzi launches a message of courage towards the future, was presented today at Chiostri di San Pietro in Reggio Emilia: "A community of living beings". In a time of planetary emergencies, the installation is meant to be a sign of hope, responsibility and coexistence for the protection of the Planet, starting from creativity and childhood. The installation can be visited until Sunday, October 17.

A thousand citizens, young and old, the Municipality of Reggio Emilia, The LEGO Foundation, for the occasion of the 25 years of friendship between the city of Reggio Emilia and the LEGO Group, Coopselios and Iren, founders of Fondazione Reggio Children, the Pause-Atelier dei Sapori project and Laboratorio Aperto Chiostri di San Pietro, have all taken part in the installation.

Luca Vecchi, Mayor of the Municipality of Reggio Emilia, Carla Rinaldi, president of Fondazione Reggio Children-Centro Loris Malaguzzi, Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen, CEO of The LEGO Foundation and Riccardo Zangelmi, LEGO Certified Professional Italy were present at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Among the attendees, as part of the Danish delegation, was Kjedl Kirk Kristiansen, third generation owner who led the LEGO group, of which he was CEO for 25 years, to success.

The promoter of the initiative is Fondazione Reggio Children-Centro Loris Malaguzzi, founded in 2011 on initiative of the Municipality of Reggio Emilia as a participation foundation, with several large national and international partners, for projects aimed at improving the life of communities, starting from children's rights and the right to quality education, in the Emilia region, in Italy and abroad, especially in situations of educational poverty.


The Mayor Luca Vecchi has recalled the 10 years of achievements of Fondazione Reggio Children, "a challenge won", and the city's friendship with The LEGO Foundation on education. Regarding the participatory installation, he underlined: "Once again, during fundamental transitions, this city has the ability to make a difference starting from the Hundred Languages of children".

From the president Carla Rinaldi, on the occasion of this tenth birthday, have arrived the thanks to all those who have accompanied the journey of Fondazione Reggio Children: "Childhood is the foundation of the society we want - she said - The future is made with boys and girls, young people, schools. This is what this installation tells us, thanks to the friendship with the Lego Foundation, which conveys the joy of life together with all living beings and education as a value on which to build a community".

"We are happy and proud to celebrate this 25th anniversary with this work of art in Reggio Emilia to give voice to quality education and learning through play" said the CEO of the Lego Foundation, Anne-Birgitte Albrectsen, who recalled the friendship with the city, citing the Lego Prize to Carla Rinaldi in 2015 and the scintillae-play and learning in the digital age project present since 2019 at the Loris Malaguzzi International Center, "a play, discovery and research center offered not only to children and families, but to the whole community".

Riccardo Zangelmi recalled some figures regarding the installation: "More than a thousand children, eleven schools, 320.000 Lego Dots, 800 hours of work". "This is an installation with which children and adults have shared creativity - he continued -. Where there are bricks there is creativity and where there is creativity there are smiles. Here we have over a thousand smiles from children of our city and the smiles of children must be preserved. Welcome to the wonderful world they have created”.


In the monumental space of Chiostri di San Pietro, two coloured waves stand side by side and can be passed through by the public. This is the shape that Riccardo Zangelmi has given to the thousand coloured mosaics supported by iron stems and created in recent weeks by children, families, citizens and students of more than ten schools. They used 320,000 LEGO Dots and represented their own idea of living beings. Three brick statues of children, created by Zangelmi, emerge, statues which pay homage to the enthusiasm and creativity of childhood, who dances, plays, rejoices and participates in this collective installation.

Several schools have joined the project: the primary schools Giosuè Carducci, Italo Calvino, Carlo Collodi and Figlie di Gesù, Matilde di Canossa, the primary school of the Loris Malaguzzi International Center, the Anna Frank and Elisa Lari preschools of Reggio Emilia and the Anna and Maria Fenaroli preschool of Rodengo Saiano (Brescia), the lower secondary classes of IC Manzoni and IC Lepido, Associazione Animamente. Fondazione Reggio Children has also set up corners at: Remida, Food in Chiostri, the scintillae space at the Loris Malaguzzi Center, the Santa Croce Library and Ciclofficina Raggi Resistenti.


The esteem and collaboration in the educational field between Reggio Emilia and Billund, the headquarters of the Danish LEGO Group, dates back to the 1990s. In fact, after the Lego Prize to Loris Malaguzzi in 1992, a collaboration between the LEGO Group and the world of Reggio Emilia infant-toddler centers and preschools began in 1996, 25 years ago, for research on play and technology, then on creativity. In 2015 the LEGO Foundation awarded the LEGO Prize to Carla Rinaldi and in 2019 it participated with Fondazione Reggio Children in creating the scintillae - play and learning through the digital age space, together with the MIT Media Lab in Boston.


After today’s inauguration, Saturday, October 9, Fondazione Reggio Children will kick off on Monday, October 11, the events for the 10-year anniversary together with Iren, with a day dedicated to the themes of creativity and sustainability, "Ricreazioni (Ricreations)", at the Open Workshop of Chiostri di San Pietro. A day dedicated to materials and to the infinite possibilities of regenerating oneself with Remida the Creative Recycling Center and Pause-Atelier dei Sapori. In the morning, for schools, the "Plastiche, organismi viventi? (Plastics, living organisms?)" workshop, aimed at the classes of IC Da Vinci. In the afternoon, at 4 pm, a round table open to the public titled "La sostenibilità che non ti aspetti (the sustainability you don’t expect)". From 6 pm ateliers curated by Pause-Atelier dei Sapori on the theme of regeneration in the kitchen. The day is led by the following experts: Eloisa di Rocco, atelierista from Remida, Francesco Bombardi, architect, Benedetta Melloni, Fondazione Reggio Children, Mirko Tutino, I.BLU, Paola Cavazzoni, Pause-Atelier dei Sapori, Arturo Bertoldi and Fiorenza Genovese, EduIren.

The event is part of the Sustainable Development Festival’s official calendar, available for consultation. To participate one must register at the link https://ricreazioni.eventbrite.it. Access is permitted upon showing the Green Pass certification.

The installation "A community of living beings" can be visited until October 17 during the opening hours of Chiostri di San Pietro, in the courtyard area in front of the cafeteria.



In 2021 Fondazione Reggio Children - Centro Loris Malaguzzi will be 10 years old: partecipate in the creation of a collective installation in Reggio Emilia

Last modified: 25 October 2021

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