Architecture and Play

Dear Friends,

Let’s talk about play.

Google “play” and the definition states: To engage in an activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose. 

Over the past fifty years there has been a steady decline in children playing. Today, children and adolescents have less time and freedom to play than kids ever have in the past. Instead of having self-directed play, kids are spending more time assisting their parents with chores, attending school, or doing school work. This is no small matter because psychologists believe that this deprivation has led directly to the decline we are seeing in their mental health. The rise of social media has intensified this problem with kids now having heightened anxiety and lowered self-esteem, and in turn lowering resilience.

We started thinking – maybe it is not just kids who are on social media all the time, and are losing out on opportunities to play. Adults are as well.

In books such as The Power of Play, Elaine O’Brien and Andrea Seydel both identify this very tension of play being undervalued for all ages, and that it is necessary for adults to recharge and get in touch with themselves. If you feel that you have become more anxious as a result of not having an outlet to play, we invite you to attend the world’s largest free webinar on resilience on September 8th linked here:

A very inspiring email arrived on our desk – from our friend Alec Rill. Alec had taken a group of students out on an architectural photography adventure: Alec asked, “How many ways are there to photograph one building?”

We wondered – what fun would it be to just go take a few snaps of the buildings outside – edit and see what we could come up with. 

Well it was fun – play even. Maybe worth trying – we urge you – go take some architectural photos just for the fun of it. Share them with us and tell us about your adventure.

Here are ours:

Mandy and Roger


Mandy Seligman

Mandy Seligman is the founder of SeeingHappy, a nonprofit whose mission it is to promote wellbeing through photography using positive psychology. She is a psychologist who believes that we can all benefit from using using positive psychology at every stage of life.

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