Play With Purpose

February 17, 2020

Date And Time: Thu, 5 Mar 2020, 10:00 – Fri, 6 Mar 2020, 16:00

University of Bedfordshire, Postgraduate Centre
1 Vicarage Street


About this event

“Our point of departure must be the conception of an almost childlike play-sense expressing itself in various play-forms, some serious, some playful, but all rooted in ritual and productive of culture by allowing the innate human need of rhythm, harmony, change, alternation, contrast and climax, etc., to unfold in full richness.”
Johan Huizinga 1938, Homo Ludens

The twenty first century has become an era defined by massification, measurement and statistics, from child to adulthood we are analysed, metricised and allocated personal algorithms to plot daily existence; So where do we find the time to ‘Play with Purpose’?

This question is especially important in the creative arts, where informal play support creativity and innovation. This conference seeks to develop an understanding of ‘play with purpose’ as an alternative to scoring creative performance.

‘Play with Purpose’ is located in a place where we imagine, explore, reflect then imagine more, where art, design and education use playful philosophies, encourage risk taking, follow intuition, and delight in practice to develop, create and innovate – a playground of ideas.

So How do Artists and Designers use play to Create, Innovate, Learn, Share


  • To reveal connections between play and creativity, social and cultural production
  • To develop communities of creative players, makers, thinkers, and dreamers
  • To develop provenance in debate on ‘Play’ in art and design education -the creative industries
  • Contribute to cultural and economic development and well-being of communities through creative endeavour
  • To develop a space where ideas emerge that inform our daily lives through creative intelligent play, where anything is possible
  • To inspire the future through Play with Purpose with concepts that enhance design thinking in education, business and commerce using creative play activity, to rejuvenate production

The conference will be supported by a post conference book on Play and Creativity.

This conference encourages submission from a broad range of practices in the creative industries, art, design and education, that impact community, culture and society

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