Serious PLAY 

Last Friday we started the new module conducting collaborative creativity. We were asked to create a duck using only 7 pieces of lego, from the lego serious play range.

This wasn’t your traditional duck, this duck has one hot and one cold foot (that’s why they are blue and red) and had always had aspirations of being a giraffe so had plastic surgery to get his neck stretched.

The purpose of this exercise was to show us the fun and importance of play in encouraging the voices of everyone to be heard, enciting listening and team work. The story behind the ducks creation was more important than the appearance of the duck.

After a series of tasks we had think of a representation for a creative day. Mine consisted of two pillars with a wire linking them together and a tire hanging in between. This was to represent an experience I had while at summer camp. As a camp councelor we had run out of pre established activities for the children to participate in so had to come up with a new game on the spot with the materials we had around us. So we set up a challange where by a series of objects were hung and hidden around the woods. Each team had to seek out a particular object and the first team to bring complete the task, retrieve the object and bring them back won. In reality no team managed to bring the object back because we had made the activity was to difficult but this represents my most creative day because the limits and restrictions we had forced us to be creative and make an engaging and interesting activity.

After each of us around the table had completed this task we had to choose one object from our creation to place in the centre to create an overall perfect mix for creativity. What was really interesting about this task was the differences in what each of us chose. I choose the tire because the object represented the restriction but for example Janja chose order because for her that’s really important. I think personally order is less important for me, I like chaos but i think that might stem from being a fine artist for three years. The task overall highlighted the different way people think and what factors people feel they need to be creative.

As a final task we were asked to describe our perfect creative partner. For me the perfect creative partner would be able to work independently, solving menial tasks by themselves but also being able to communicate and develop ideas within a team. They would be confident in promoting their own ideas and challenging mine but open to suggestions. They’d have the ability to adapt to situations, improvise and make connections. Reliability, organisation and time keeping are all important; i would need to know that I could count on them to finish part of a project or experimentation on time so we could stay on schedule. Speed and quality are important, their needs to be pace behind the creative process but equally the products or ideas bought forward should consider the task required, be relevant and adaptable. It’s not that the first idea has to be the best one but that the individual is willing to say I have this idea, this idea and this idea; then be reflective, take what works and what they have learnt from all ideas and combine them. Overall the perfect creative partner would be able to stand for their own ideas, support them by experimentations or prior knowledge but be flexible, a good listener and willing to collaborate.

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