Productive Play


The idea of play is becoming more and more integrated into products and services of functional value (ie. work). It is often used as an added value or as a source of inspiration and guide. These things add play where it wouldn’t traditionally be. What if instead of adding play into work, we transform play into work: play then becomes a tool of production. Interesting possibilities abound.

…I can’t help sensing the emergence of a curious new industrial revolution, driven by play as the first was driven by steam. As steam did then, so now play lives among us as a phenomenon long ignored by the machinery of production — evanescent, vaporous, unexploited — and inasmuch as production abhors a vacuum, it was perhaps just a matter of time before it moved to colonize the vacant, vacuous space of play.

From Play Money by Julian Dibbel

(via Adam Crowe)

Kevin Kelly and Brain Eno’s ‘list of unthinkable futures’ was published 15 years ago in the Summer, 1993 issue of Whole Earth Review. Great example of scenario planning, predicting the absurdity of the future and having it come true.

A new type of artist arises: someone whose task is to gather together existing but overlooked pieces of amateur art, and, by directing attention onto them, to make them important. (This is part of a much larger theory of mine about the new role of curatorship, the big job of the next century.)

Mass advertising is restricted. Billboards are categorically banned; advertising in subways, buses, removed. Towns take up “Advertising-Free Zones.” (link)

Smoking is proven to be good exercise for the lungs.

A highly successful new magazine — Ordinary People, edited by the nonagenarian Studs Terkel — focuses only on people who have never done anything in particular to deserve attention.

(via kottke)

The statistical photography of Chris Jordan is mesmerizing to look at. In his TED talk from this year’s conference he points out that his goal with the photographs is to transform statistics into visuals in order to have people “feel” the issues he represents. His words definitely add another dimension to his work.

(via PSFK)

Hockey player Sean Avery is the latest celebrity cum designer (or at least the latest celebrity with a marginal interest in style).

(via electro^plankton)


Its not about consumers, it’s not about users. It’s all about people.

Timo Veikkola, Nokia: A view of the future – trends research, ethnography and design. ( via This Blog Sits at the:)