Play, Think, Design: Play as a Means to Acquire and Enhance Design Thinking Skills

Play, Think, Design: Play as a Means to Acquire and Enhance Design Thinking Skills

Rémi Leclerc (The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 33
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0911-0.ch008


Designing requires the simultaneous application of diverse modes of thinking and making; the administration of a set of competences, among them creativity, ranked most important by Hong Kong Polytechnic University School of Design faculty members. An introductory design thinking subject offered by the School uses Play as a means to foster best design learning experiences. It leverages Play's integrative cultural agency to facilitate students' acquisition of creative and instrumental thinking skills. From the formulation of a hypothesis and identification of a context, to subsequent iterative development and testing of a design proposition, the acquisition of fundamental creative design thinking skills are facilitated by play and demonstrated over the course of a project. A survey questionnaire (N=219) and subsequent factor analysis revealed positive student feedback. This chapter describes how the subject was implemented, and suggests how this blend of international cultural influences informing design education could serve China's creativity and innovation industries.
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Background: Play, Cultural Development, And Design - Conceptual Bridges

Play in Developmental Psychology

Over the last two centuries, the study of play has recognized play to be intrinsic to the human experience; an essential part of humans’ and many animals’ biological (individual) and social (group, cultural) development and survival. Although offering different perspectives on how social contexts shape the content and process of play, psychologists from Gross in the late 19th century (1896, 1899), to Parten (1932), Piaget (1959), Vygotsky (1934, 1978), Pellegrini, and Smith (2005, 2009) in the 20th, demonstrated the need for children to engage in play, through stages of physiological, social, and cognitive development, as an initiation and preparation for later life, condition for welfare, and possibly evolution.

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