Greg Eckler's the Vicious Circus

Play & The Discovery of New Ideas

The aim of graphic design as a form of communication in today’s visually literate society is to inform, educate or persuade the viewer and in doing so motivate them to either take some form of action, change behavioral patterns or previously held beliefs; or to reinforce some form of existing action, behavioral pattern or belief system.

Effective communicators are those capable of bridging unexpected and often unforeseen connections between people and the world around them. They do this with ideas. The word idea comes from the Greek ide-, meaning to see, and –a, meaning ending. An idea is just that, to see an ending, to gain a conceptual understanding in the mind as the result of awareness or activity. A definition may make something more tangible in the mind but it still does not provide an answer as to where ideas come from.

Insight, creativity and discovery perform essential roles in birth of new ideas, but they are also indicative of the act of play. I seek to demonstrate that play, with the right tools, can free the mind to make new discoveries and connections that will drive the conceptual process beyond the realm of aesthetics and bring about profound links between a communication and its audience. Plato may have stated, “you can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation” but I believe through play one can discover more not just about a person, but about anything. Also if you would like to read the full version of my Master Thesis “Play and The Discovery of New Ideas” you can download a pdf version.