My question is: have we forgotten this place? Have we forgotten to play? Are we too busy, too bored, or worse, too scared to creatively play? Have we become immediate gratification junkies determined to bypass play and manufacture easy content neither original nor curious or human. If we cared to create at all. When did getting gratification from our peers hold more precedence than simply playing with an idea that we're genuinely jonesing for?
Bob McKim, a creativity researcher in the 60's and 70's who also led the Stanford Design Program, used to do an exercise with his students where he asked them to draw the person next to them, their neighbor, very quickly, giving them 30 seconds.
The results were always the same with adults. When he asked them to reveal their work to their subjects, they almost always responded to each other with, "I'm sorry." Every student was embarrassed to show their work to their peers and it is this very fear that causes us to be conservative in our thinking and creativity.
Let's say you try this same exercise with kids. They typically have no embarrassment at all, they're kids, ego hasn't landed on their door step yet, so they just proudly show their work to whoever wants to look at it. As adults, and as we increasingly become more sensitive to the opinions of others, we've forgotten to exercise the freedom to OPENLY play.
What's more is if we don't subject ourselves to play, free from the filters of judgment from our peers, we lose out on learning.
Two contemporary dance artists I admire, shared with me what they've experienced and what they felt they had learned during creative play.