Exploring the Lived Experience of Play: A Phenomenological Inquiry
How play is experienced and what the implications are for design.
User experiences on play
Research on experiences
Thesis project description
The act of play is a fundamental aspect of human life, influencing various domains such as creativity, social interaction, well-being, and personal development. Despite its ubiquity, the subjective nature of play remains relatively unexplored. This research proposes a phenomenological inquiry into the lived experiences of play, aiming to uncover the intricate ways individuals engage with and perceive play in diverse contexts. Background and Rationale: Play encompasses a wide range of activities, from recreational games to imaginative pursuits, each carrying unique significance for individuals. Understanding the essence of play from the perspective of those who engage in it is essential for grasping its role in human life and culture. By adopting a phenomenological approach, this research seeks to delve into the lived experiences of play, shedding light on its subjective dimensions and enriching our understanding of its significance. Significance of the Study: This study holds significant implications for various fields, including psychology, sociology, education, and design. By uncovering the subjective experiences of play, it can inform the development of interventions aimed at promoting well-being, fostering creativity, and enhancing social interactions. Additionally, insights gained from this research can guide the design of more engaging and meaningful play experiences across diverse contexts. Objectives of the Research: The primary objectives of this research are to: Explore the meaning of play for different individuals. Describe the subjective experiences of play, including emotions, thoughts, and sensations. Investigate how the context influences people's experiences of play. Identify common themes and patterns in individuals' interpretations and engagement with play. Scope and Limitations: This research will focus on adult individuals from various backgrounds and demographics. The study will primarily examine subjective experiences of play in everyday life contexts, including but not limited to recreational activities, games, and imaginative play. However, it acknowledges that the experience of play may vary across cultures and age groups, which may influence the generalizability of findings. Organization of the Thesis: The thesis will be organized into the following sections: Introduction: Providing an overview of the research aims, rationale, and significance. Literature Review: Exploring relevant literature on play, phenomenology, and previous studies on the lived experience of play. Methodology: Detailing the research paradigm, design, participant selection, data collection, analysis procedures, and ethical considerations. Findings and Analysis: Presenting and analyzing the themes emerged from participants' experiences of play. Implications for Design: Discussing the implications of findings for designing engaging and meaningful play experiences. Conclusion: Summarizing key findings, contributions to knowledge, and suggesting future research directions. This thesis proposal outlines a comprehensive plan for investigating the lived experience of play through a phenomenological lens, aiming to contribute valuable insights to the understanding of play in human life and culture.
Managerial value of the research
There are several valuable contributions to a company, particularly in terms of innovation, research, and gaining new insights. Here's how: Innovation in Design and Product Development: By delving into the subjective experiences of play, your research can offer innovative perspectives on how to design products, services, or experiences that are more engaging and meaningful. Companies can leverage these insights to innovate their offerings, ensuring they resonate better with their target audience and enhance user experience. Research-Based Insights: Your phenomenological inquiry provides an opportunity for companies to gain deeper insights into the nuanced ways individuals engage with play in various contexts. Understanding these subjective experiences can inform decision-making processes, such as product positioning, marketing strategies, or organizational culture development. Enhanced Understanding of Consumer Behavior: By exploring the meaning of play for different individuals and investigating how contextual factors influence their experiences, companies can gain a richer understanding of consumer behavior. This understanding can help them tailor their products or services to better meet the needs and preferences of their target market segments. Informing Well-being Initiatives: Your research holds significant implications for promoting well-being, as it aims to uncover how play contributes to personal development and social interaction. Companies invested in employee well-being or community engagement initiatives can benefit from understanding the role of play in fostering positive outcomes, thus guiding the development of relevant programs or interventions. Strategic Partnerships and Collaborations: The collaboration can facilitate knowledge exchange, co-creation of solutions, and access to cutting-edge research findings, ultimately driving innovation and competitiveness.
Research topic motivation
The motivation behind my choice of research topic, Exploring the Lived Experience of Play: A Phenomenological Inquiry, stems from a deep fascination with the intricate ways in which individuals engage with and perceive play in diverse contexts. Play is a fundamental aspect of human life, influencing various domains such as creativity, social interaction, well-being, and personal development. Despite its pervasive presence, the subjective nature of play remains relatively unexplored. I have had the chance to use different design methodologies and tools that provide an experience through tangible tools and games that allows for participants to gain insights and perspective on things compared to conventional methods.
Why collaborate with us
If you're considering why a company should pick me over other students in the same area of study, it's not just about my academic prowess or knowledge of the subject, though those are certainly strong points. What sets me apart is a combination of factors that I bring to the table: Passion and Dedication: I have a genuine passion for the subject matter, which translates into unwavering dedication and enthusiasm for the work. This isn't just a job for me; it's a calling. My commitment to excellence and drive to make a difference in the field are unparalleled. Innovative Thinking: I approach problems with a fresh perspective and am not afraid to think outside the box. I thrive on finding creative solutions to challenges and am always looking for ways to push the boundaries of what's possible. This innovative mindset is invaluable in a constantly evolving industry. Adaptability and Resilience: I'm not afraid to tackle new challenges head-on and am adaptable in fast-paced environments. Whether it's navigating unexpected obstacles or embracing emerging trends, I have the resilience to keep moving forward and the flexibility to pivot when necessary. Collaborative Spirit: I recognize the value of teamwork and collaboration. I thrive in environments where diverse perspectives are welcomed, and I excel at building strong relationships with colleagues and stakeholders. My ability to work effectively as part of a team ensures that projects are completed successfully and goals are achieved.
13 to 17 weeks.
Collaboration start date
Number of student
English, Spanish, Danish, Other
Interested in a collaboration?
Project Researcher #1
I am a open-minded, analytical thinker who concerns himself with reading literature on self-improvement, aiming to broaden my perspective in life in combination with acquiring new competences that are not taught in a traditional workspace. I like to exercise regularly whilst maintaining a healthy relationship with my family. I have a international mindset and strive through good atmospheres where I can learn, give and receive feedback in a balanced manner.
Passion and motivation
I am passionate about products, services, theories innovations and solutions that encourage and drive change in the world. I am looking to contribute and to provide input at a company where my knowledge and expertise are wanted and respected. And as such I envision a place where participation and contribution are accepted together with brainstorming and perspective input.
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