We inhabit a world of complexity. The current opportunity at OCADU for rapid growth comes with a specific need for a solid foundation that can sustain and extend our unique creative collateral. The ways in which we celebrate and extend our work across art, design and theory in a digital culture are crucial to a stellar future. Our unique position enables us to take a strong world-leading stance in connecting our research to our practice. What does OCADU mean in its approach to research and practice? How do we move between making and reflecting? Does this change in this digital era? How does our theory inform our practice and vice versa? How does academic rigour work hand-in-hand with high-value aesthetic practice at OCADU? In what ways do we playfully re-invent the future across our wonderfully diverse and digital culture? These questions and more consist a useful focal point in these times of rapid change.

Play:Shop is a CORUS-funded collaboration between OCADU's research labs to address the following questions:


"Let my playing be my learning, and my learning be my playing." (Huizinga, J.)

"If we cannot play we cannot begin to be fully human" (Huizinga, J.)

"You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation." (Plato)

Play is a core human function. Play has a widely accepted role in creativity, meaning making and innovation. The proposal adopts a play model as core to its workshop methodology. By using established creative workshop methods such as experience prototyping, improvisation, design games and innovation play this series of workshops (or more truly "play"-shops) will rapidly build a set of resources and techniques for OCADU to leverage its core value, its staff. Each workshop will be fully documented (on wiki and public facing site); prior, during and post event to best build persistent value.

An innovative framework for the workshop scenarios is based on the method of Play.

This is to encourage a playful approach to the many dualities one encounters in the debate:

Art vs Design

Art & Design vs Liberal Studies

Practice vs research

Practice-based vs theory driven

This is not a debate of zero and ones, but an examination of the fuzziness of working methods, of action research and reflexive levels of investigation. The workshop and one day long events are to encourage exchange, networking, new collaborations, exchange of knowledge, hands on experimentation with new technologies; forthcoming essays and dissemination to play a leading role in the overall debate of art/ design research practice.


Materials and publications reviewed and created over the course of this project will be collected in the library of a group on the academic social bookmarking service zotero.

Reflections on research will be gathered on Tumblr for easy access, populated with links of interest and lengthier reflections on the design of compelling information interfaces.

Project Deliverable Downloads:

In development.

Monday, August 20, 2012 - 7:15pm