Prelude's game design uniquely melds principles from two fields,Constructionism and Appreciative Inquiry. Constructionism is a theory developed by Seymour Papert at the MIT Media Lab. It holds that young people learn most effectively through the making and sharing of public objects. Papert uses the example of a sandcastle. During the co-design/creation process students gain hands-on experience and draw their own conclusions. This is meaning-making at its ideal. In the process, transformative learning occurs.
Constructionist ideas link directly to Appreciative Inquiry as well as Prelude's design process. AI is the theory and practice of organizational transformation developed by David Cooperrider at Case Western University. It focuses on what works well and can be improved upon as opposed to what doesn’t. During the process, members co-create a picture of the positive future organization they imagine using images and words. Research shows that this helps people to actualize what they envision. In the AI field, this is called the Heliotropic Effect, a term borrowed from botany.