The Design aesthetic of play produces JOY. Plain and Simple.
Yet, as we reach adulthood, we tend to use any margin of time to run errands, sleep, catch up on emails, etc. instead of holding a space for play.
“Work can be pleasurable, too, but that pleasure is usually tied to an outcome: money, mastery, recognition, or the satisfaction of having helped someone or produced something. But the only metric of success for play is how much joy it produces. As a result, play has often been dismissed as frivolous, unnecessary.” (page 135)
If you have resistance to play in your life, why might that be?
As Stuart Brown has observed, the separation of work and play is a false construct. “The opposite of play is not work,” he often says. “It’s depression.”
The other evening Angela and her family came over for dinner and we were trying so hard to get a picture of the two of us jumping for JOY that school was almost over for all of our ChangeMaker friends. No matter how hard we tried, Angela could not jump as high as I could with her baby coming soon. Oh my word, I have not laughed that hard in so long. As we were both rolling on the ground, Angela’s daughter Ella felt so invited into our play session that she was rolling around and hugging us and laughing … AND she didn’t even know what it was all about.
I had just finished this chapter on the design aesthetic of play and I knew this was what Ingrid was driving at. Whether you are designing spaces, events, a classroom, or even an evening with friends, consider how play can be woven in to produce JOY and delight.
So I will leave you with this to ponder…
How do you want the places, things, and events you are creating and co-creating to feel?
How can you incorporate more play to produce greater JOY for those around you?
“Play.” Joyful: the Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness, by Ingrid Fetell Lee, Little, Brown Spark, 2018, pp. 134–163.