brain · health · mental health · youtube

The Importance of Staring Out Of The Window


Staring out the window is often associated with a lack of attention or productivity, but in this film from The School of Life, we examine the activity (or lack of activity) as a highly productive pursuit that we might rarely make time for anymore: Discovering the contents of our own minds.

Source: The Importance of Staring Out Of The Window | The Kid Should See This

community · creativity · play · youtube

City of Play Director Adam Nelson on Designing Play for a City

I have run into the same challenges or questions as Adam Nelson in my play research, so I am glad to hear it expressed by someone else. It’s from a year ago, but still good stuff.

City of Play Director Adam Nelson discusses City of Play’s philosophy on using play to make cities better places to live and work.

via City of Play – Ignite Pittsburgh – YouTube.

creativity · design · happiness · health · mental health · technology · youtube

Cool Technology Allows Disabled People To Create Incredible Art With Their Minds

Art has the power to soothe, to heal, to empower, to raise awareness and to move people to action. Using technology to enable people to express themselves through art is great, whether it’s for a cause, or a brand in this case.

To raise awareness for their brand, an art supply company created this viral campaign featuring real people using technology to create beautiful abstract art. Sixteen disabled individuals in China (home to the world’s largest disabled population) were invited to participate in the project, which involved using advanced brainwave scanning technology in conjunction with detonator-equipped, paint-filled balloons. The video seems to show that by concentrating really hard, the participants were able to trigger the colorful explosions, resulting in some very unique pieces.

more via Cool Technology Allows Disabled People To Create Incredible Art With Their Minds.

behavior · community · happiness · music · youtube

The Gift of Music In A Nursing Home. –

Give a little kindness and playfulness in an otherwise stale, quiet, and sometimes depressing space, and see how far it goes!

The Piano Guys is a group of amazingly talented musicians, who are all about putting on a spectacular show and as you’ll see in this video, it was way better than any of the old timers ever expected. The group showed up at Stirling Court in St. George, Utah and surprised the residents with a truly incredible Charlie Brown medley.

As you’ll see, the senior citizens were delighted by the classic “Peanuts” tune on piano and couldn’t stop moving their feet. This video is undeniable proof that music is good for the soul. Just look at how the performance lifted their spirits!

video via She Heard Music In The Nursing Home. Her Reaction? HEART MELTING!! –

creativity · play · Social · youtube

Man gets stuck in airport overnight, makes spectacular music video – Weird News – News – The Independent

Just goes to show you can have fun pretty much anywhere:

Richard Dunn, when stuck overnight in Las Vegas’ McCarran Airport he busied himself making a music video for Celine Dion’s “All By Myself”, complete with improvised dolly tracking shot and bottom of the escalator ‘fall to knees’ for the crescendo.Dunn admitted to having actually had a ‘quite fun’ time the first recorded instance of this in an airport, getting behind the Delta check-in desks, crooning in those massage chairs no-one actually uses and utilising the inherently cinematic horizontal escalators.

read more about Dunn’s experience via Man gets stuck in airport overnight, makes spectacular music video – Weird News – News – The Independent.

architecture · community · creativity · environment · health · learning · play · youtube

Switzerland Opens its first Parkour Park – YouTube

The sport of Parkour is usually focused on finding your own path in non-planned environments. But having a space designated specifically for exploration is great for both beginners and veterans alike to practice seeing routes and trying new skills.

Traceurs and play advocates all over the world have been trying to start up parkour parks in various cities, so this is really exciting to see another one finally come to fruition after the hard work of local citizens. Well done!

Switzerland finally got their first Parkour park. The past 2 years the team “Parkour Luzern” was planning so hard to realize this project and finally Joel helped them to design and build the park. Jesse, Guilaume and Joel went there for training and now we are proud to put out the first video from this awesome location.

Grandstand Parkour Park

via Free-Z at Switzerland’s first Parkour Park – YouTube.

community · happiness · Social · technology · youtube

Social Networks Can’t Replace Real Human Interaction

Virtual space, including friendships there, does not fully replace that real live human interaction we get in real world spaces. More and more studies are finding this out, and people are reacting to it, often on social media.

graphic designer Shimi Cohen, based in Tel Aviv, has provided “a fresh and subtly soul-wrenching reminder of the way our screens can become cells of solitary confinement.”

The animation was Cohen’s senior project at Shenkar College of Engineering and Design. Based in part on MIT professor Sherry Turkle’s book Alone Together and Yair Amichai-Hamburger’s article “The Invention of Being Lonely,” inspiration also came from a personal place. “Like many others,” Cohen tells Co.Design, “I became addicted to socializing through my phone and social media. This started to bother me and intrigue me at the same time.”

Discovered at Co.Design.

This is a wonderful and simple reminder to get off the computer from time to time and actually go interact outside with real people.

anthropology · behavior · creativity · culture · happiness · play · Social · technology · youtube

Lolcats and the Harlem Shake: Play on the Internet

An article from the head of Google’s Agency Strategic Planning team published in Fast Company talks about why we play on the Internet; it’s a really good dive into the need and importance for play in our lives and share that playful experience with others, and how as we move towards a more digital space we are taking that need to share play with us. It is marketing/branding focused, but the message is clear; we all need play and are making space for it, at least in our Internet lives:

We [netizens] uploaded over half a million variations of Harlem Shake to YouTube in the past few months. Google searches for Cat GIFs hit an all-time high last month. And we took 380 billion photos last year–that’s 10% of all the photos taken . . . ever. But let’s be honest–these memes are fun, but they don’t matter, right? They’re pretty much a waste of time.

As the head of Google’s Agency Strategic Planning team, it’s my job to work with brands and creative agencies to help develop their ideas in the digital space. So I had to ask: Why would we be doing so much of all this “visual play” if it really means so little to us?
To get to the bottom of these memes, we assembled a team of original thinkers–anthropologists, digital vanguards, and content creators–to dig a little deeper into this “visual web.” We also spoke to gen-Cers–the people who grew up on the web or behave as though they did–and who thrive on creation, curation, connection, and community.

The research showed us that far from distracting us from more serious things, these viral pictures, videos, and memes reconnect us to an essential part of ourselves.

It may seem that all we’re doing is just capturing every mundane moment. But look closely. These everyday moments are shot, displayed, and juxtaposed in a way that offers us a new perspective. And then all of a sudden these everyday moments, places, and things look . . . fascinating.

As kids, that happens all the time because everything is new. Everything is unlike. And we aren’t constrained by the rules about what “goes together.” Why else was putting the Barbie in the toy car wash more fun than putting the car in the car wash?

Read the whole article here: Memes With Meaning: Why We Create And Share Cat Videos And Why It Matters To People And Brands

anthropology · community · creativity · design · happiness · play · youtube

Freak Bikes of Portland

I’ve been watching episodes of American Hipster Presents – a fun video series about different entrepreneurs/artists/etc. around the U.S. (side tangent, how crazy is it that we live in an economy where I can write entrepreneurs/artists/etc. and have that not be weird? Hello Etsy!) – I came across the freak bike builders of Portland. It’s a group of guys and gals around Portland that build their own bikes and then pedal around town in bike gangs, playing games, hanging out with friends, and being overall pretty silly.

To me this is a great showcase of grown-ups making playful spaces and space for play in their lives.

The main interviewee says it best [paraphrasing]: “Kids get to play on bikes, why shouldn’t grown-ups?”

It also makes me kind of want to move to Portland.

happiness · health · play · youtube

Prancercising, Inspired by Play

Everyone’s been having fun learning about Prancercise, created by Joanna Rohrback. Sure it’s a little silly, but that’s sort of the point. Joanna even says that the workout is inspired by horses prancing, and should be motivated by fun:

Prancercise® is defined as: A springy, rhythmic way of moving forward, similar to a horse’s gait and ideally induced by elation. It’s about Self-Expression. It’s about Non-violence. It’s about Conservation.

Exercise doesn’t need to be grueling and difficult, it can be fun. People stick with exercise programs longer if it’s fun, and exercise has been shown to be more effective when it’s fun.

So while blogs like the Huffington Post are poking fun at Prancercising, in a way it’s a great reminder to have fun with your exercise routine.