Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Thinking inside the cardboard box

As children we are taught to dream big and wish for everything. For 1 out of 365 days we are allowed the chance for that dream to come true, our Birthdays. Anything goes, and for children they take the concept anything very seriously. Children never think twice about wishing for the stars. Wanting to be a princess or asking for a race car is a very reasonable request to a 5-year-old. Children are also given the "tools" that help form these very imaginative requests. A simple dress up kit that includes a dress and 2 inch heels provides endless creations of different characters, or the empty cardboard appliance box can be anything from a cave, to a castle, to a spaceship. Children need very little tools to provoke endless hours of imagination, but as we grow older the creative drive is taken away from us.
I recently attended a lecture series entitled "Play." A designer from IDEO was invited to be one of the speakers. He made the point that when we first start off in school we have an endless supply of craft materials(think of your favorite craft from pre school) and as we progress through different grades more and more of those materials start to disappear and by the time we reach adulthood, unless you have taken the artisits career track you never see those materials again; including the boxes and sofa cushion that you used to use to build amazing forts with...they go from being a restaurant or a shopping mall back to a cardboard box that needs to be put out with the trash in the morning and sofa cushions that have to stay on the sofa other wise the house looks messy.
Everyone says, "think outside the box," but how can you do that when you are not allowed to play with it?

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