17 October 2020
We have been saying a lot in the channels at Ensaio Lab, that we urgently need to reconnect with some roots of the past in order to recreate possible futures. Sure. It is necessary to have wisdom to understand which traditions, beliefs, customs we are going to put in this sieve and which we simply need to discard. Tradition simply because it is tradition makes no sense.
But yes, I believe that our human side has a lot to do with some roots that we all leave behind. Our focus here in this edition of the Tour is a little more intimate, but it also relates to entire cultures and ancient traditions: play.
Play is a form of body and verbal language, which comes from an extremely internal movement.
Children have playing as the main objective given by nature to express their life drive. The rest, for them, is imprisonment.
When do we lose this spontaneity?
Play is one of the main resources we have to link connections between our repertoire and the new, embracing chaos.
We Brazilians have, in our language, an exclusive word for playing. This is an interesting distinction when we compare it with English and Spanish, for example, which unite, in one word, several meanings. (play = play, play, play, etc.)
Playing is linked to freedom, unpredictability and imagination. Its origin, in Latin, is rooted in the expression "bond". Which brings us back to these variations, comings and goings of external and internal connections.
Instead of encouraging the search for playfulness in our actions as an instrument of socialization and creation throughout life, we are seeing the opposite movement, in which even children are losing the ability to play without having something pre-molded for them simply run, and that's dangerous.
A survey by the University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA) found that 128 children who had lack of care and little interaction with other children at play had reduced amygdala and hippocampal size — brain structures associated with emotions and memory — when compared to those children who were encouraged to play.
This drop in stimulus, which is due, of course, to the amazing technological advance that makes products more seductive than interpersonal relationships, also has as responsible agents the lack of attention and support from parents and the de-prioritization of games in the school environment, which, in most sometimes it is more concerned with making children memorize formulas and ready-made answers than encouraging curiosity, as we are developed in this context based on the ecosystem in which a person (teacher) gives us an answer and every question has - again - an answer right, based on logical thinking. If we have the right answers, we go to college, which, even inserted in an academic environment, ends up reinforcing this model.
After this stage, we graduated as professionals and our main objective is to provide answers.
Our goals are validated with the results, which, in this way, are based on performance, measured by the right answers we give to achieve success.
Where will we go if we keep growing in a world that is only about giving answers?
This model leads us to a closed way of thinking, without looking for other paths and lack of curiosity. It is a model based on the fear of making mistakes, which solidifies two main types of bases:
1 - the construction of intolerance to the different, the fear of the new;
2 - anxiety and depression.
We need to transform this construction. According to the theorist Carl Jung, our mind is formed by several layers: the conscious layer and the unconscious layers. The first, superficial, which is totally linked to the thought pattern associated with the reproduction of responses, is limited and does not relate to the unconscious.
Have we reached a point where we feel the need to write a "serious" text like this to reaffirm the importance of something as natural and irreverent as playing?
We must let go of the need to simply generate unique answers and go back to embracing an almost primitive, childlike curiosity that we have put aside. Let go of the notion that free time is a waste of time.
We keep saying that we need to create, design new solutions to complex problems and change paradigms. And where is the incentive to play in this process? We squint at the numbers presented, but we forget what really leads to them.
The design process, despite being supported by a vast theoretical and scientific framework, brings an artistic and playful approach to developing solutions, which is why it is so dynamic and, often, in the midst of chaos, we have fun.
Science is neither an answer nor a conclusion, it is knowledge in progress.
And playing is part of that. It's not about nostalgia. It's about expression.
But now we have a provocation to make you in the next Pico .