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The Luton School of Art and Design is hosting this Play with Purpose Conference, at the University of Bedfordshire


“Our point of departure must be the conception of an almost childlike play-sense expressing itself in various play-forms, some serious, some playful, but all rooted in ritual and productive of culture by allowing the innate human need of rhythm, harmony, change, alternation, contrast and climax, etc., to unfold in full richness.”

Johan Huizinga 1938
Homo Ludens: A Study of the Play-Element in Culture

The twenty first century has become an era defined by massification, constant measurements and statistics from child to adulthood, we are analysed, metricised, and allocated personal algorithms that plot daily existence; So where do we find the time to ‘Play’?

This question is especially important in the creative arts and design, because informal play is where creativity and innovation occur. This conference seeks to develop an understanding of play with purpose as an alternative to scoring systems and the analysis of creative performance.

The conference ‘Play with Purpose’ is located in a place where we imagine, explore, reflect and then imagine more and explore more, where art, design and education use playful philosophies, that encourage risk taking, following intuition, delight in practice and using imagination to develop, create and innovate – a playground for ideas.

So How do Artists and Designers Invent, Innovate, Learn, Share, Teach and ‘Play with Purpose’

• To bring together a community of creative players, makers, thinkers, and dreamers
• To develop provenance in creative debate and the importance of Play in Art and Design education and the creative industries
• Introduce Luton as a cultural hub that embraces the importance of creative play and its impact on innovation and creativity
• Develop a creative place of exchange, located in Luton towns Creative Quarter of national and international standing
• Develop meaningful links with the community and stakeholders for mutually reciprocal benefits
• Contribute to the cultural development and economic well-being of the town
• Develop this format as an annual event
• to develop a space where ideas emerge to inform our daily lives through creative intelligent play, where anything is possible
• The conference will be supported by a post conference book On Play and Creativity