The intention of using play as a deliberate tactic in design is to divert attention away from the emphasis on ‘outcome’ to the genuine exploration of uncensored process. To Play means : to engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose

generative action:

generating outcomes

like playing games of chance or skill

Using play to generate ideas via lateral thinking / or divergent processes: for this you need cues and ‘randomness’ generators.

collective action:

challenge ideas and refine thinking

like playing a board game

Playing with someone/something – exploring strategies sharing experiences.

meditative action:

A great way to meander through ideas and allow for unfocussed thinking

like building with lego or blocks

Playing alone or with someone where the objective is to achieve or attain a sense of ‘flow’.

Other ways of using play involve active physical body movement – this forces the inclusion of the larger body rather than only the eye-head-hand triad.

The first method of play we tried was a generative one. Using a set of cards students create a story as they keep on adding random cards the theme to base their narrative on was Homelessness. Everyone got a chance to give their thoughts on the problem before we launched into the game designed to effect a divergent story boarding. The 5 categories of cards are persona/place/feeling/action & object. Each group narrated their stories based on a blind selection of 3 cards followed by additional cards. This is a half hour exercise.

From here we move onto a meditative play exercise where the prompt is Homelessness-mobile home. Working with simple modelling materials students had an hour to respond. Some of the surprises that emerged as a result of the play-box – folding interiors / tricycle + room combo / floating homes and renewable energy sources! Images below

As part of SVA Products of Design’s partnership with Veterans Affairs (and held through the Design Research and Integration class taught by IDEO’s Lawrence Abrahamson) , designers Jiani Lin, Alexia Cohen, Teng Yu, William Crum, Kevin Cook, and Antriksh Nangia used design to examine gender and the military—creating two design proposals aimed at changing the way people “see” women veterans.

Here the designers created a tangible prototype to investigate these insights more fully—designing a highly-researched (and playable) board game that takes players through the user journey of Active Duty, and then through Veteran Life. (Gameplay reveals countless obstacles in both; the deck is indeed stacked against women.)

Ulitsa Dimitrova / Game Presentation

Play also is a tool to build imaginary scenarios that allow for a complete rethinking of prejudices, ideas and intentions. In this class we talked about using the tactic of play to explore the theme of homelessness. This game gives us one insight and direction.

A hand drawn computer game by Lea Schönfelder and Gerard Delmàs. The task: Try to survive in the streets of Russia. An adventure where you play the role of the seven years old chain-smoker Pjotr.

On Friday April 27, the class in collaboration with Rob’s Absurdity class and Ceri, as the ‘Pied-piper’ had a play in the museum gardens.

Week 8 / Play / Food / Fun / Reset

Class exercise Sept 2017: playing with material and form: ideas for the homeless….