In coming across these images (Skate, Slide), the first thing I did was smile.

September 1, 2021


Sam Frentzel-Beyme

Innovation & Insights

Designed to Play

The Short of It

  • In many organizations, a sense of play has been eliminated.
  • But a sense of play and wonder is what most people look for in environments outside of work.
  • Organizations that look to introduce a stronger sense of play could tap into a new foundation of creativity.

In coming across these images (Skate, Slide), the first thing I did was smile. I thought about the “crazy” cars and homes that I drew as a kid that were completely unadulterated and free from the concepts of “correct” and “expected”.

In all the ones I can recall, the line between life and play was always blurred. It was as if play was simply a part of the natural state of things (and at 10 or so, it probably was!). And it didn’t always have to be play in its most active interpretation. Sometimes it was the sense of imagination and wonder that something evoked that made the design so appealing.

In looking at the design of most organizations, I wonder where the sense of play has gone. It can’t be that as adults we have lost our capacity to be amazed and filled with a sense of play and wonder. If I think of the trips I have heard about people taking, I often hear talk about the architecture, the décor and ambiance of bars and restaurants and the excitement and energy of street cafes. So at some level, we all want to be inspired and have our sense of play activated.

I just wonder how organizations would change if they looked for opportunities to channel play and wonder within their walls instead of creating environments where these things are simply “expected” to be found outside of work.

Images: BoredPanda

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