I've begun work on the "Play" section of the thesis rewrite. Its a fairly large section, covering 8 or 9 distinct types of play that are important to designers. In two days I only managed to write up two pages of text, along with a lot of false starts and deletions.
Anyway, here's a sample of the paper as it stands:
Human beings are playful creatures. If we are to understand human design and intention we must understand the process of play. The professional designer is in some way paid to retain the plasticity and playfulness of the childlike mind, to be able to play with ideas and forms in ways that most adults have long forgotten, but for which they long.
We have discussed the question of depth at some length, and the exploration of questions of intellectual depth has been further discussed as one of the primary goals of society in the process of designing works. It would be quite reasonable for a society to produce solely that which the members of the society needed from a physical standpoint, expending only that amount of energy required to produce the mimum required effect. It would be reasonable for there to be a single type of chair for a given purpose, a single colour of blouse for every woman, a single design of car for a given task, and a single type of house for a given climate. We could go about our lives meeting solely the minimal physical needs of our bodies, but we most emphatically do not.
As a species we are curious, constantly searching for deeper meanings, constantly toying with new ideas, new possible explanations to the great and small problems that face us in our lives, new approaches to doing the same thing, new ideas about what any given pattern really is. Our mental models of the world are constantly being revised, communicated, miscommunicated, critiqued and tested. Play and playfulness are a large part of these mental processes, and since these processes are the focus of design, play is a very large part of design.
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