Selja Ojanne ACD MFA Practicum Spring 2011

Games you live with: A collection of objects for every day play

My practicum project has focused on the designing and crafting of a collection of games and toys to encourage every day play. This work challenges our notion of where these items should live in the home, as most people store toys and games out of sight. This collection provides prototypes for aesthetic playthings that are intended to always be visible, and therefore always remembered and accessible. The objects in this series are both familiar and unusual, providing conversational interest as well as tactile engagement which results from the materials and processes used, including multiple methods of felt manipulation, weaving, wooden forms, and leather constructions. Much of the foundation for this work comes from study of sociological commentary on games and play, existing sports and leisure games, and previous efforts of including more games in society, such as Stewart Brand’s New Games. The research has also included firsthand experiments of user interaction and intuitive game play. Major considerations for the finished work have been what type of games should be incorporated, how much visual and textual information is necessary for the user, how the objects should be stored, and to what degree is familiarity or ambiguity explored. After much deliberation, I have concluded that creating brand new games is overly ambitious at this time, and that interpretations of traditional games or objects provide a successful product for my goal of providing an activity that will be enjoyable in the home. The major accomplishment of this work is the thorough design process for and creation of game pieces and their storage systems which allow for more inclusion of games in the home, thereby offering a form of accessible non-consumptive entertainment. Additionally, this series of work is the culmination of all craft processes that have been newly learned within the past year and a half.

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