People play. Play has an important function in training social, cognitive and physical development. It is embedded deeply into our nature.
In the Vision of PI one of the direction in designing for play is to look for little triggers for playful behavior. A boring meeting and a pen make us doodle. A loose thread on a shirt irresistibly makes us fiddle with it. Play occurs spontaneous. One moment of play triggers the development of defining play, which leads to negotiating rules and goals. For children, a lumber- room (“rommelzolder”) in this perspective is a dream environment. The world around them turns into a playground, providing means and context. The clutter around them provides opportunities to use in play. The objects in the do illicit directions for play, because of form, texture, or physical properties yet they do not define the goals or rules of play. This makes the lumber-room a good example of an environment for open-ended play.
Designers on the other hand want control. They want to know, or better decide, what their users can and cannot do. That is a good attitude when you design something for strict functionality, like a car, a power tool, and a kitchen appliance. But when it comes to play, real fun starts when you cross the lines of control. In this project, we want to create a metaphorical interactive lumber-room. The mess, the unpredictability in this case is not in the diversity of physical objects but in the diversity of interactions.