In his work ‚Homo Ludens’
(1938) the Dutch historian Johan Huizinga states that play is a voluntary activity,
whose aim is in itself and which is accompanied by a feeling of excitement and
joy and in the awareness of being outside of the ‘ordinary life’. It takes place
in its own boundaries of time and space and with its own voluntarily accepted, however
Being thus detached from
‘reality’ and in the knowledge that no conse-quences will affect their lives
outside of play, the person involved in play is able to 'throw off any possible
constraints' (Susanna Millar ‘The Psychology of Play’) and move in greater
freedom, explore new creative possibilities and engage in a new context or in
new social groupings.
To bring an element of play into the creative
process therefore, an environment is needed where play is first of all
possible: A time set apart, a space created to explore, free from time pressure
or deadlines, judgment or thoughts like 'I have to produce' or 'I ought to be
better than...'. Play is not yet creativity, but the gains obtained through
play might lead to it and if they don't, then the time thus spent was 'just'
play and nothing's lost, except maybe a few hours well spent!