And that’s a wrap: @thisisplayful #playful13

Playful 2013

Playful.

One word, so many interpretations.

These are the different ways I uncovered playfulness at Playful 2013:

The Lego Calendar helps Vitamins Design track projects and time, but crucially renders the analog blocks digital. It’s fun, useful and smart.

Vitamin’s Out of the Box mobile phone user manual for Samsung, specially designed for older people who aren’t familiar with the technology and text-heavy booklets, was exhibited at MoMA in New York; I thought it demonstrated incredible audience insight and was remarkably simple. ‘So cool’ is what I kept saying to myself when I learnt about it. Cool, and playful.

I first came across the Makers of Things videos a few weeks ago. It was a pleasure to listen to the detail behind the ‘makers’ featured in the series – they demonstrate true joy in their work, which is a key characteristic of children at play (in the nicest possible way).

I realised that custard, being a non-Newtonian fluid, is the perfect ingredient to take one’s stress out on – Punch the Custard is a very messy and amusing game.

That an MBA course could, literally and figuratively, mould executives into leaders by getting them to create 3D-printed keys that go on to be rendered into brass and function as a door to their cohort when the class ends was something I was super impressed with. That’s the Key to Leadership project from John Willshire and it had playfulness embedded from the word go.

Converting a disused petrol station into a cinema theatre is cheeky and yet has the potential to transform a public space. Look at Cineroleum.

The Digital Marina Abramovic Institute, Snek and Art Game are just some of Pippin Barr’s proper games. Proper.

If you wonder if unpacked bananas, cash and soft toys reach their destination via Royal Mail, that mischievous experiment has already been done!

Marie Foulston’s narrative of her experience playing Animal Crossing this year was personal and beautiful. As games can be.

Ben Reade works with René Redzepi at the Nordic Food Lab, and it sounds like a foodie’s idea of a playground come true!

Stefanie Posavec made a game out of Facebook data while on an artist residency at their campus in California.  She converted relationship data into a dance – a game…you get where I’m going with this!

Different versions of Snakes and Ladders can be so much fun, as Rev Dan Catt illustrated. They should have had one of those when I was 10…

And if you take a look at artist Rob Lowe’s colourful illustrations, I think ‘playful’ might be one of the words that come into your mind too.

So – playful. Maybe I’ll go take a look at what the dictionary says now, though that’s never going to be as interesting, is it?

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