Play allows an individual to realize new possible methods when solving problems by not following any specific rules. You should not always be cautious in decisions you make so you can end up in blind alleys or I guess the adult word we're all afraid of would be FAILURE. But the benefits of not planning ahead or within your comfort zone can lead to the surfacing of undiscovered perspectives and this is what we strived to achieve.
A short series of photos we shot with our handy cupcake to visualize our stress level throughout the weeks of these thesis:
With the mindset of playing and having fun, we tackled mini-challenges that were basically our process in helping us further develop the idea of the final project. They were all put together by the both of us using only items we found laying around school, our classroom studio or backpacks.
Project 01: Create a title for your thesis that will displayed in an exhibition
This was the very first idea for our title.
Project 02: Create a piece that conjoins the topic of your thesis and the Superbowl
(Yup, it was around that time)
I brought ton of toys from home that day for some color palette inspiration, but who knew they could became the star players of our supperbowl board game? After bouncing ideas for rules of the game off each other, this ended up being something that even our classmates got to try their hand at.
Goal: Whichever player pushes the tart "football" to the opponent’s side gets to park their car in the opponent’s territory. When all of the cars are parked at the opponent’s end of the board, the game is over.
While keeping a curious mindset during this exercise, we were always trying to think of ways to make our game work. After trying multiple ways and running into dead ends, we realized we wouldn’t have gotten closer to a successful solution if we didn’t.
Project 03: Create a piece that conjoins the topic of your thesis and Dadaism
Dada was an art movement that rejected all conventional aesthetics. The movement’s artists were known for using readymade objects and giving them an alternative function in order to question the role of the artist and definition of art. A famous example would be Marcel Duchamp’s sculptural piece, Fountain. He took a urinal, turned it upside down, and named it to give it a different purpose. We drew inspiration from this mindset and decided to pick a ball of tangled string that was laying around to “dada-fy” it–to give something that really didn't have a purpose, a meaning.
We both took a part of this ball of string and started untangling it while brainstorming what alternative meaning this mess of rainbow string could hold. After a while we actually found this quite meditative and each piece we untangled from the bunch felt extremely satisfying. During this meditative process, the idea struck! The act of untangling this ball of string was exactly what our minds were trying to do when coming up with creative solutions.
All the ideas in our head were like this tangled mess and by making connections, we were able to pull out this one idea out from many. Using a page from an old magazine that we found in our classroom, we were able to develop a clearer presentation of our idea.
Project 04: Create a piece that conjoins the topic of your thesis and food
As we brainstormed how to approach this project, we couldn’t think of any food in particular that associated with the idea of play. In the end, we decided not think too much of it and to just have fun with the materials around us and see what we would end up creating.
We created our version of a cheeseburger using our handy-dandy post-it notes and paper towels to see the potential of how materials can be used in a creative way other than their intended use, in other words, repurposing the materials.
We realized that all of these mini-challenges led to interesting concepts that we would have never have come across if we were to merely brainstorm. Most importantly we had so much fun creating them! So with the motivation of upgrading our creative process, we made a portable book that carries a collection of cards containing multiple themes and mediums to help generate our own prompts. It would allow us to do fun exercises on our own or with other people when going through designer’s block.
Keeping with the rules of the mini-challenges, we also created this book using materials around us: cardboard, cardstock, paint, and markers!
The mix and match of themes and mediums challenges you to make the connection between the randomly chosen theme and your subject matter.
A video explaining it all: