We've recently wrote about LEGO being used as tools to inspire creative thinking and solutions to various societal or business challenges. Christopher W. Totten's thesis proposes that playing (not necessarily of the Lego kind) can also be used to influence the architectural design process. Ultimately, Totten created a design method for architects based on game design.

The highlights of his method are:

Creating a “core mechanic”, the basic action a player takes within a game, as the design generator for an architectural space (the basic action someone takes within the building.) Using game engines to playtest building designs with clients and other designers to understand how an occupant will see and move through them. Having designers from different parts of a project exchange work and playtest one another's designs, ensuring that each element contributes to a cohesive whole and that the building follows the original design goals of the core mechanic and any other experiential concepts

Regardless of the industry in question, playing and game design can serve as a tool to inspire creativity among those stakeholders that might ultimately be too close to the challenge (and details) to see the solution.  ”Pretending” to be an end consumer or user, versus a designer or marketer with budgets and sales objectives top-of- mind, can help ensure that the end product is utlimately usable to its consumer.  Cheers to playtime!

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