Play With It – A Design Theory.


CJ Page  · Dane Peterson  · Yuebo Wang  · James Schmittler  · Casey Addy


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Titled “Play with it,” here is an attempt to not only introduce the expansive and contractive nature of the design process, but also ideas on team play to produce better, more creative, concepts.


Sketching thoughts and visualizations we articulated our individual processes by deconstructing metaphors for different phases of the our individual activities.

We framed our model and refined our thinking around the idea of the duality of design thinking: the analytical reductive thinking (that many people from outside fields are good at) and the creative expansive counter and how play is the stimulant.

Design is often viewed as an ambiguous process embodied in a designer and separate from everyone else. We break free from this thinking and present a break down of the design process as something everyone can understand. We introduce the design process as a container filled with many design activities each meant to help us learn more about the design project.

We built our slide deck deliverable as a series of images and diagrams to clearly articulate how we intended to linearly present the non-linear nature of design.



Working alongside an incredible team of designers and thinkers was an exciting opportunity to collaboratively mesh, learn, and grow. The excitement that everyone brought to this project fostered the learning we all derived from each other and the team as a whole, and really forced us to define and articulate exactly how we understand design thinking.

I was personally very passionate about the ideas of design not being an individual activity but rather a set of individual design activities, each focused on either expanding possibilities or contracting focus to narrow those possibilities into a reality.

I also drove the level of detail needed for our visualizations to be precise in articulating our exact points. This was especially important when we determining the information structure of the concept and prototype bubbles. We spent a significant portion of one of our last group meetings to really hammer out precisely what we meant and if it really came across in our presentation.


  • M.S. Human Computer Informatics
  • 2010