At the 2008 Art Center Design Conference in Pasadena, California, Tim Brown, the CEO of IDEO, which is a firm specializing in design and innovation delivered a seminar entitled Serious Play. During his time on stage, Brown made a strong case for the critical connection between play and creativity. As kids, we are free to play. Taking risks without fear of judgement, exploring how ordinary objects can be used in fantastical ways, and seeing potential possibilities are what kids do everyday. Being a kid is being creative. Brown goes on to say that as adults we need to bring back play in the workplace to foster creativity. The key is to create environments based on trust that allow adults to explore divergent thinking through brainstorming to give full range to our ideas and to build environments that encourage thinking by doing, hands-on building, and role playing.
The ideas in Serious Play are exciting. The seminar got me thinking. Should we bring back play only in the workplace? What about home? Building fun environments based on trust to foster creativity in our personal lives could be very powerful. Just a little food for thought.