Play is such a fundamental part of being a child. It helps us make sense of ourselves, others, and the world we engage in. It helps us to become spontaneous, creative, imaginative, and honest. Even though most of these traits follow us into adulthood, it seems that over time we stop engaging and learning through the power of play, as it gets neglected and deprioritized.
We forget how to play.
Instead, we end up dismissing play as frivolous, irrelevant, and a waste of time.
But what if we could somehow reintroduce playfulness as a personality trait to adults and help them rediscover this imaginative exploration and approach to life?
This project is an exploration of how design can help adults rediscover and rekindle this fundamental and universally applicable attitude. Derived from extensive user involvement the result is three experiments that each manifests key aspects of adult playfulness, to help facilitate individual exploration and reflection of playfulness in adulthood.
Concept 01 - Float like a butterfly.. but only if you want to
The first experiment is called ‘Float like a butterfly.. but only if you want to’ and is a spontaneous prompt to step out of reality. It is a wearable armband that prompts a contextual playful reaction through haptic feedback, as it vibrates at random times during the day.
Concept 02 - I am pretty sure that's a..
The second experiment is called ‘I am pretty sure that’s a..’ and it is based on the idea of collective divergence. The abstract shape invites individual unbiased interpretations of a simple object. The purpose is to cause reflection, build confidence and remind people that even simple things can be done in many different ways.
Concept 03 - A horse turned into a pinball machine
The third experiment is called ‘A horse turned into a pinball machine’ and is all about making people reflect on the importance of enjoying the process rather than the outcome. By dispensing one building brick at the time it helps practice a divergent mindset and to imagine multiple outcomes to the same scenario.
Aesthetics of adult playfulness
The experiments are purposely kept abstract and rough, as they are based on what I have defined as 'The aesthetics of adult playfulness', emphasising the importance of purposely keeping objects rough and open for individual unbiased interpretation, to avoid directing a certain use as there simply is no ‘wrong use’ or ‘wrong users’.
If you'd like to hear more, or you're up for a chat - reach out!