|M.Sc Student||Sherman Naomi|
|Subject||Creativity and the Phenomenon of Play as Shaped by the|
|Department||Department of Architecture and Town Planning||Supervisor||Dr. Dafna Fisher Gewirtzm|
|Full Thesis text|
This Research Through Design (RtD) study explores how to design for creative play. The significance of this question is great, as creative play has been linked among other things to learning, coping, adaptation to change, and the courage to risk. It is fundamental to children’s ability to learn about and interact with their world. (Michelman, 1971, Runco et al, 1999; Brown, 2008; White 2012; Yogman, et al 2018)
Specifically, the research investigates the relationship between creative play and the design features of a play structure with the primary objective to design and build a play structure which promotes creative play. After identifying two creative play types, dramatic and constructive play, the research determines which specific qualities of a play structure facilitate and encourage these types of play. The main objective was to design and build a play structure based on both prior research and iterative experimentation which promotes creative play.
The 3-month experimentation consisted of two stages. The first stage involved on-site observation of a group of pre-kindergarten children playing in their regular recess environment. In the second stage, this group of children were observed while interacting with a series of four prototypes placed in the same recess environment. The prototypes were iteratively designed based on the behavioral observations, analysis, and refinement of the previous prototype.
The results showed that there were indeed certain features which promote creative play. These features include enclosed spaces large enough to accommodate 1-3 children, objects of a variety of sizes with no specified functions allowing for a flexibility in use, and an underlying system by which all the various pieces relate to one another encouraging both collaborative and individual problem solving.
The current research provides a solid base for future studies. There are many variables however, which could be further explored such as materiality, introduction of sound components, and a shift from orthogonal to more organic forms.