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Tales of Creativity and Play: a TEDX Talk with Tim Brown (Subtitled in French)

At the 2008 Serious Play conference, designer Tim Brown talks about the powerful relationship between creative thinking and play — with many examples you can try at home (and one that maybe you shouldn’t).

I’m a big fan of this great speaker, CEO of innovation and design firm IDEO…and I love this inspiring and entertaining talk and Tim’s playful attitude to share the idea how playfulness helps us to get more creative solutions!

And for all of us Creative facilitators out there, he reminds us of the 2 key stepping modes in the creative process talking about divergent thinking and convergent thinking. In the divergent mode we need to learn to be more playful while in the convergent mode we need to be more serious. being able to move between those modes is really quite important. You can be both serious and, at times, playful. We need trust to be able to be playful and we also need it to be serious. He also talks about going for quantity, building with your hands, and doing role play.


For you in a rush; here’s a summary of the talk found on the web 

Many people tend to be conservative in their thinking because they fear the judgments of their peers. Kids tend to fear much less. A trusted environment, where people can explore with less apprehension, encourages people to play. That’s why friendship is a shortcut to play—secure uninhibited exploration. This is why many creative firms like Pixar and Google invest so much in creating a friendly and playful atmosphere. Tim Brown elaborates on three types of play: exploration, building, and role-playing.

Adults tend to want to categorizenew things and situations very quickly. Kids are more open to exploring possibilities. For example: kids can generally find more uses for a cardboard box than a new toy that came in the box. An adult’s desire to be original will often limit the number of possibilities they will explore before they settle on a solution to a problem.

Kids learn through construction play—building a tower and repeatedly knocking it over. Building play is thinking with your hands. Quickly getting something into the real world in order to evaluate its effectiveness at doing whatever. It’s quick prototyping.

Kids do this all the time—they follow social scripts. They learn the rules for their social interactions. When adults act out solutions it helps them determine if it will work in the real world. I f designer lives through an experience it helps them develop empathy for the client.

Play is not anarchy—it has rules. It’s important to know how and when to play—exploration and execution.

….now Go out and Play! Enjoy!