Playing is a big part of our lives, if you think about. You learn a sport by playing it, you learn a musical instrument by playing it, you learn songs by playing music, and you even learn to walk and run by playing with your parents. So by playing you are not technically just doing some pointless activity to waste your time (unlike what your parents tell you). You can learn plenty of stuff by playing plenty of things.
It is not just learning though. As IKEA points out, you play to rest and repair your physical and mental health; a sort of recovery process. You also play to make new friends and strengthen your bond with your friends or family members. It is a channel for you to escape from your daily lives to explore and learn new things as well. Of course, playing is another way to express yourself creatively.
IKEA takes Play very seriously and that is why we see IKEA designing every product according to Play. In their recent Play Report IKEA tells of the changes in the way people play. The highlights of the report is how play will change 10 years forward. For one play will be a multi-sensory activity with the evolution of technologies like Virtual Reality and wearable electronics. Play will also be integrated in the better part of our lives in the future, especially in the workplace – no more boring training and meetings. But it’s not only the new technology and games that will get the limelight; old, retro games from our childhood will continue to be a big part of play.
With the busy lives that Malaysians lead though there is less and less time for playing. How does IKEA solve that problem? By integrating play into their products of course. IKEA recently showed off a few of their favourite products for play including a small coffee table that can be customised with the likes of a customised snake and ladder map. IKEA’s mugs, vases, and cups are also perfect blank canvases to draw on – an outlet of their creativity. Even the dining table can be a place for kids to play and learn new things as IKEA demonstrated (at least we learned how to make roses out of a piece of napkin).
With all these IKEA proved that there is always time for play. There is also always an outlet to play with if you’re creative enough. The lesson? Keep calm and keep playing.