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News & Events

Playful Arts Festival 2018

Playful Arts Festival 2018

When I was recently driving back from Playful Arts Festival in Den Bosch, the Netherlands, even the dreadful traffic on the Autobahn was not nearly enough to kill my enthusiasm for this great event!

Knowledge & Reflection

Play to Live

Play to Live

I'm not an expert in brevity, to say the least, but here I'll try to clarify one little thing without too many detours and without going deep into the (important and fascinating) available literature: the purpose of play. Easy, right? There's this constant discussion...

Society & Politics

Recognizing the Other

Recognizing the Other

I recently asked if play can save democracy, marking the first steps on my journey to explore what I already at the outset consider a deep kinship shared by play and democracy. As promised, there is no clear answer in sight, but some patterns and questions are...

About CounterPlay

CounterPlay Manifesto

CounterPlay Manifesto

While retaining a fundamental openness, curiosity and the capacity to always learn more about the nature of play, with this manifesto we wish to put a stake in the ground and make our position on play clearly visible.

Recent posts

CounterPlay Leeds #3 – Action!

When hosting or participating in play events, I always aim to 1) play, 2) think about play and 3) talk about play. As part of the latter, I find it important to have a conversation about the future: where do we go from here? How do we create better conditions for play and the playful society?

Be Provocative!

What can we do to make our cities and urban spaces more playful? Sometimes, we simply need to be provocative and use the power of play to challenge the norms around us.

Playful Philly

A while back, I was invited to train a group of instructors, who would be leading six play camps across branches of the Free Library of Philadelphia. "Teach them about play", my friend Joel requested, and of course I immediately said yes. The training week took...

Designing CounterPlay

This post is an attempt to capture the essence of CounterPlay, the principles underlying the festival and the connection to play. Part of it is a description of what we have been doing since the beginning, while part of it remains more of an ideal for our future work.