Lunch Talks

Criswell Lappin & Eliza Spang

Creative Director & Learning Director, Institute of Play
May 24, 2013

If you don’t engage kids in learning, they’re not going to learn.

The Institute of Play pioneers new models of learning and engagement. They are a not-for-profit design studio, founded in 2007 by a group of game designers in New York City. They are now home to an interdisciplinary team of designers, strategists and learning practitioners. The first project was the design and implementation of an innovative New York City public school, called Quest to Learn.

Criswell Lappin is the Creative Director and is responsible for the Institute’s design practice and for overseeing the quality of its creative output. He brings to the Institute experience in the commercial and cultural sectors.

Eliza Spang is the Learning Director and is responsible for the long-term advancement of the game-like integrated learning model pioneered by the Institute - its continued evolution in existing learning contexts and its expansion and adaptation in new contexts.

  • A man and a woman give a presentation in a room with a large screen showing colorful graphics and text about the "Butterfly Cup Challenge". The room has large windows and modern lighting fixtures. Several people are seated, facing the presenters.
  • A woman is giving a presentation in a room with a brick wall and two hanging lights. A slide on the screen behind her reads "97% Kids play video games." Several people are seated, listening attentively. A man stands near the door, watching the presentation.
  • A group of people sit facing a man and woman who are presenting in front of a screen in a modern room with brick walls. The screen displays a photo of children engaged in an activity. The presenters stand near a large window, and pendant lights hang from the ceiling.
  • Three people are playing Rock-Paper-Scissors inside a room. A woman in a blue shirt and a man in a white shirt are making hand gestures, while another man in a checked shirt watches. Behind them, a screen displays the rules of the game.
  • Three individuals are engaged in a rock-paper-scissors game in front of a projected screen displaying the rules. One person is holding a microphone, while the other two are poised to play. Orange chairs are visible in the foreground.
  • A man and woman present to a seated audience in a room with brick walls. A projector screen behind them displays the text "Institute of Play: We Design Experiences That Make Learning Irresistible." The room is well-lit with two hanging lamps.
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