Hong Kong PolyPlay: An Innovation Lab for Design, Play, and Education
This chapter relates how a design research laboratory’s focus on design for play has shifted over the years, and how, informed by experimentation carried out in teaching, research, and consultancy, it has expanded its scope to make apparent the broader relationships existing between play, design, and education. For if one could contend that design shapes culture, and consider Huizinga’s contention that culture is the outcome of play, then one could easily be brought to appreciate the multiple links imaginable between play and design. For instance, taking cues from research in design for play, the chapter will suggest how toy design practices may inform design practices at large, or for that matter how play informs design, through an account of its approach—or deliberate lack thereof. This chapter hopes to assist designers seeking to enrich awareness of the cultural relevance of their practice through the lens of play; and play academics working to expand their perspective on play’s cultural agency by conceptually bridging their field to that of design. To illustrate its premise, this chapter presents a curatory account of a body of work produced since the facility was set up, which has been collated into online inspirational design platform: polyplay.hk.
The author wishes to thank Ilpo Koskinen and Matthew Turner for their suggestions and for advice on editing this paper.
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