SENIOR DESIGN STRATEGIST AT FOUNDATION MEDICINE
Designers can harness the power of play to change our mindsets, collaborations, and processes when envisioning solutions to serious problems. This talk will illustrate how designers can borrow techniques from the worlds of game design and other creative endeavors to design playful envisioning experiences, deepening attendees' understanding of the transformative and restorative power of play when designing for serious problems.
Over the last year, big systemic problems in society, design, and our planet have been at the forefront of many minds and newsfeeds. Designers' engagement with these important topics is essential to move us towards more just futures, but how we explore these difficult topics needs to be reconsidered. Many designers approach these big problems with furrowed brows and clenched jaws, believing that work on serious problems must be paired with a solemn attitude. While we acknowledge the awful suffering that these problems create, this somber approach to designing for them has sapped many of their resilience and ability to engage over the multi-year timelines needed to see systemic change. This has only been amplified by the necessary social limitations adopted in response to the pandemic. What if we could play our way into the futures of serious and complex topics like American healthcare? Can the process of imagining a change in heavy topics like design ethics leave us feeling energized and more connected to those who think differently than us? Does a more playful design envisioning process create a future with more room to play? During this talk, we will explore how designers can harness the power of play to change our mindsets, collaborations, and processes when envisioning solutions to serious problems. This talk will illustrate how designers can borrow techniques from the worlds of game design and other creative endeavors to design playful envisioning experiences. We will explore examples of how designers have incorporated play into the process of envisioning for serious subjects including healthcare, ethics, and identity. We'll share facilitation techniques for unlocking a playful mindset within ourselves and enabling play between our partners throughout co-creation. Attendees will leave this talk with a deeper understanding of the transformative and restorative power of play when designing for serious problems as well as the ability to immediately begin incorporating it into their own design processes.
Sponsored by Louisville, KY chapter
PRIMER is produced by The Design Futures Initiative
Design Futures Initiative/Speculative Futures Community
Intro/outro music by Mike Reger