Play is More than Fun – please watch this

A superb TED talk that offers a broad overview of the importance of play.

Stuart Brown’s TED talk delivers a superbly dry, scientific and humorous overview of the value and importance of play. I’m revisiting a bunch of these talks as I prepare for a new course on Toy Design and Invention (which I am getting ridiculously excited about) and it is reminding me of a range of lessons and insights that I may have been ignoring.

Stop taking design process so seriously

My last few posts have been analytical and cold discussions of design process and research methodologies and as I reflect on them, they were getting a bit heavy. The processes outlined do not sound fun. The discussion is not playful, and yet, that is fundamentally what drives me personally, and I think is a critical ingredient to any creative process.

I get nervous outlining specific design methodologies because it suggests there are right and wrong ways of acting, but the reality is that all process is incredibly flexible. The decision about “what should we do next” is likely as easily solved by identifying what ideas suggest the most opportunity for play within your project.

If you need a boost, there are a bunch of other PLAY/CREATIVITY based talks on TED full of juicy goodness below:

Tim Brown on creativity and play

Steve Keil: A manifesto for play, for Bulgaria and beyond

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3 Comments on “Play is More than Fun – please watch this”

  1. scelop says:

    hey, for what it is worth….i tbought your discussion and comments were fun…then again, maybe I don’t know how to play? I guess I better watch the videos…..eh?

  2. […] recent post on how play is more than fun reminded me of how playful the process of Biomimicry can -should- be. One of the most exciting […]

  3. Alëna Konyk says:

    Excellent videos, all of them! Tim Brown really proved the entire concept of play in just 28 minutes. I also really liked Tim’s emphasis on play being used for very serious design goals. This reminded me of a project, where I went without running water for a week to explore alternative shower systems. Role playing really puts things in perspective, it’s true. But, more importantly, it awakes empathy in a designer, which is crucial for truly excelling at human-centered design and ultimately cultural sustainability.


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