Self-Initiated Design Projects as a Form of Play: Understandings the Impact of Self-Initiated Projects on Students’ Growth and Creative Performance

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Self-Initiated Design Projects as a Form of Play: Understandings the Impact of Self-Initiated Projects on Students’ Growth and Creative Performance

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2018-11

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Self-initiated projects are projects developed and initiated by designers; these projects become creative outlets where designers can express themselves and be open to taking risks without the potential for financial repercussions. This dissertation study is based on engaging students in self-initiated projects while being in a play state of mind to encourage experimentation and exploration. An assignment was developed based on Neumann’s (1971) theory of play that describes a play task being internally-controlled, internally-motivated task that allows the participants to have full control of the degree in which they can bend and alter the conditions or rules, take risks, and potentially fail without facing any long-lasting consequences. A qualitative method is used to gain a rich understanding of the students’ individual experiences when engaged in this assignment. More specifically, students were interviewed to understand their growth as designers by working on self-initiated projects. A follow-up questionnaire was sent to students six months after completing the assignments to understand if there was any long-term impact on the students.

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University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. November 2018. Major: Design. Advisor: Brad Hokanson. 1 computer file (PDF); 134 pages.

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Alfalah, Sarah. (2018). Self-Initiated Design Projects as a Form of Play: Understandings the Impact of Self-Initiated Projects on Students’ Growth and Creative Performance. Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy, https://hdl.handle.net/11299/218057.

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