The Secret of Great Work: Play

June 4, 2013 — 5 Comments


Part of maintaining a thriving creative culture is giving people time and permission to play. One of the ways we encourage creative play at IDEO is through Designs On—, a semi-annual internal design challenge started five years ago by my colleague Blaise Bertrand. Each edition of Designs On— centers on a theme ranging from Global Warming to Birth.

Packaging is the central theme of the newly launched fifth edition of Designs On—. In it are 18 unexpected packaging ideas, like a medicine bottle that signals expiration like a rotting banana, and using synthetic biology to sustainably manufacture cups, among many other thought-provoking ideas. Serious, scientific, playful, and emotional, the concepts form a collective portfolio that showcases the creativity of our designers, and acts as inspiration for our current—and future—client work.

We think it’s creative playtime well spent.

What about you? What would you design if time, money, or feasibility weren’t concerns?

(Posted also on my LinkedIn Thought Leader blog)

Tim Brown


5 responses to The Secret of Great Work: Play

  1. Judith Walford June 10, 2013 at 12:03 am

    I love this article.I am retired and now have the time to be more
    observant as I’m not entangled in the ‘the have to do’s’.I am going to
    make a conscious effort to look around me and not take things for granted.By doing this the onset of dementia might be staved off and
    everyday simple things will become more pleasurable as they take
    on more meaning.

  2. i really like this post.

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