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Play is our brain’s favorite way of learning. And because play is creative it helps us develop critical 21st century skills that contribute to the wellbeing of our community.

That is why we use play to help teams grow their impact and answer the most challenging questions.

 
 
 

 
 

TEAMS WILL ASK US

 
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How might we design a product that is both EDUCATIONAL and fun?

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How might we EMPOWER OUR community to teach THROUGH PLAY?


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How might we scale our pilot program ON A global LEVEL?

 

These are all great questions. Here is how we tackle them together with the teams we work with and the communities they serve.

 
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EVERYONE IS A DESIGNER

When we design a solution for a user or community, we can’t truly understand their needs without including them in the design process and giving them the space to lead. Their participation is critical in not only creating a successful solution, but securing their buy-in and adoption of the solution after it’s been released into the world.

How we use this principle

We use human-centered and community-based design approaches in all of our work to ensure we’re co-creating with communities versus designing for them, and that’s always reflected in our solutions and their uptake. Our playful human centered design workshops bring communities together to identify challenges, contribute insights, brainstorm ideas and invent prototypes.

 
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ONE SIZE FITS ONE

Communities who have been traditionally neglected are often at the center of our work. Historically these communities have been forced to use products or participate in programs which don’t meet their needs because no one is designing with them. This has led to greater illiteracy and loss of educational opportunities for children who are differently abled, and prevented girls from thriving in the STEM fields. We support inclusive design, which means one size fits one, not one size fits all.

How we use this principle

We start with designing custom solutions with these communities that meet their needs, ensuring no one gets left behind. That might translate into designing an application to work both online and offline to meet the needs of communities without connectivity, or designing the interface of an educational product into several indigenous languages for minority groups.

 
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LEARNERS IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT

Learning can be fun, but it’s wildly fun and effective when it’s passionate, personal and interest-driven. Studies have consistently shown that learner-centered environments and approaches are motivating, inspiring and lead to better educational outcomes. Grounded in the work of progressive education pioneers like Paulo Freire, Maria Montessori, W.E.B. Dubois, John Dewey, Lev Vygotsky and Seymour Papert, we are dedicated to designing solutions that have learners forge their own learning pathways.

How we use this principle

We work with teams to take into account a learners needs, motivations and environment to create a high-quality solution that gives them agency and choice. This might result in a game design program that provides refugees with the opportunity to tell their stories, or a social emotional learning toy which supports primary students develop skills like empathy and perspective.

 
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THE FUTURE IS A FOLLY

Play might be a word that is rarely mentioned when people discuss world changing innovations. But the truth is that many of humanity's biggest accomplishments can find their route in the pursuit of fun. Take the Book of Ingenious Devices which was published in 850 A.D. by the Iranian brothers Manu Busa and illustrated highly engineered toys- eventually predicaments of automation and code, or the group of MIT students in the 60s' who created Spacewar! a video game to explore what is possible with their giant DEC PDP-1 computer, a seemingly silly pastime which led to the invention of the personal computer.

How we use this principle

We are deeply influenced by the history of play and innovation. Our work thrives in delight and you will often find us building impossible machines and ridiculous prototypes together with our clients. We think that the best ideas are often found where people are playing, tinkering, experimenting with concepts- sometimes just for the pure joy if it all.