The Open Montessori Workshop is a special 5-day primer course on design thinking and digital fabrication. It invites middle-school students to reflect on the legacy of Maria Montessori, the Italian medical doctor who revolutionized early-education through her innovative research, writing, and design.

During this year’s workshop, held at the New School of Lancaster, each student began by analyzing one of Montessori’s celebrated ‘learning objects’. The objects were documented carefully using a variety of analog tools and techniques. Representational drawings and descriptions were then transformed back into reality with modeling software (tinkercad) and a 3D printer (prusa mk3s).

The exercise challenges students to jump between concrete and abstract modes of thought and expression. As they move through the creative workflow, students gain exposure to new softwares and digital tools — empowering them to generate and share their own innovative design ideas in the future.