A PHENOMENOLOGICAL INQUIRY INTO THE POSSIBILITY OF PLAYED-WITH-NESS IN EXPERIENCES WITH THINGS
The subject of this inquiry is the possibility that when things are played with, and spaces are played in, they become permeated by play, and such played-with-ness is thereafter experienceable by others. The research takes a position, drawn from playwork practice, of indeterminate comprehension as a means of responsively perceiving children’s play. A Phenomenological approach was found to meet the requirements of the inquiry. This framework allows perceptible realities of play, by their position as lived experiences, to share an equal standing to any theoretical or other perspective. The structure of the inquiry evolved in response to the content of observations of children playing with things, and the sensitizing experience of noticing. The research data came to be presented on a large translucent reversible silk quilt, in stitches, colours, words, pictures and found things. The quilt can be contextualized as a literal manifestation of the qualitative research metaphor of quilt-making. From the resulting process of data analysis, a suggestion is made that the details of what things are, can become altered within play experiences, and that such alterations carry forth a quality of the experience through which they occurred. In its ambiguous meaning as both power and possibility the word might is suggested to express the potential of play’s affect. The power of ‘might’ as possibility seems implicated in the play filled enlivening of matter in our co-creation of reality.
For referencing purposes:
Title: A Phenomenological inquiry into the possibility of played-with-ness in experiences with things
Author: Sylwyn Guilbaud
Date: October 2011
Supervisory Team: Profesor Fraser Brown PhD (director of studies), Dr Phil Jones