April 10, 2017

Expanding your playground

We all have a certain curiosity within ourselves. From when we are born it’s this curiosity that lets us discover the world around us. We explore and learn by playing and experiencing, over and over again.

This curiosity is something that can follow us as we grow up and enter our mature and professional life, but our desire to actively explore can get lost along the way. Most of us tend to think that everything we do has to be perfect the first time. We comb through Pinterest, blogs and Google searches. We become so obsessed with perfection, that our playfulness fades into the background.

But if you stop and take a look around, you'll see treasures lie everywhere. Even the rubbish bin has something to offer! If you look at it from a different angle and 'frame' it just so. Crumpled up paper becomes a tool for stamping, a piece of old netting morphs into a geometrical design and bits of fabric can become the inspiration for a new colour card. We'll be inspired so much more if we put aside our logic and simply play!

VanBerlo has a CMF experience room, where you can come discover and combine different materials (i.e. go on a treasure hunt). Ideal for inspiration during the design process.


When you find a treasure, there are various things people tend to do with it. You can keep it hidden, but safe. Sure it'll be out of harm's way, but it will also be hidden from view and taken from the world. You can put it in a museum. You'll be a hero for discovering, but no one will be able to interact with it or move it around in such a quiet and protected environment. Where the wonder of discovery is really projected, is somewhere like a children's museum. The treasure will be accessible to all, and everyone will be able to touch it. Create new things with it and make new things happen.

My colleague Yvette van Gemert and I started the STAY.CURIOUS.* platform, because we believed we could inspire others to rediscover their playground. To inspire people to take a few minutes and step away from their computer screen. It's all about looking at ordinary things in different ways, about playing as a means for creating value.


Creativity is never a perfect process. It's much more than something we 'do'. Movement, change, interaction and exploration are also part of it. Now that we're adults, we use tools to help us create, but we still need to play. A computer is one of the tools we play with, but there a quite a lot of others. Some tools we use are less obvious. Just look around and let go of perfection, stay curious and embrace the unknown!

Inspired to take time out to play and look at the ordinary in a uniquely different way? Check out our STAY.CURIOUS.* platform on Instagram.


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