Play is older than culture, it is a significant function, has a profoundly aesthetic quality and is never a task”. – Johan Huizinga

Building Creative Communities

Building a future populated by vibrant and sustainable cities rests on the growth and support of creative communities—- Communities and cultures that value innovation, that are characterised by a DIY spirit, and that are willing to experiment with the old and remix the present. Our lifestyles today too often increases reliance, closing our minds to possibility, and instead entangling us in cycles of consumption. But, through education, knowledge-sharing and the promotion of a participatory culture we might begin to disrupt this pattern and re-empower and re-ignite dormant creativity.

The (Re-) Emergence of Play

Although there are many factors which determine the experience of “a good life” – a too often overlooked component is play. Play is one of the most profound of creative acts. It is the opposite of work narrowly defined—- the best of jobs are those which one experiences as play. Play is not to trivialize life into just a game—- games can be deadly dull and serious. Play is fundamental—- but we would argue, too often forgotten in highly commodified rationalized urban environments geared towards particular goals of production and consumption. We don’t have to accept this—- play and other, often unexpected, cultural interactions are part of what make cities such vibrant and exciting places.

By looking at what makes communities, populations, and spaces playful and strategizing through active education practices – sustainable models for the incorporation of play into the urban environment may emerge. These interventions can then be implemented by participants in their own neighborhoods and communities.