18th September 2019

The importance of play to fuel creativity

Profile Nikki


Nikki Taylor

Nikki Fuel Creativity Thumb

Creative play is a vital part of our development as children. Through creative and imaginative play children grow emotionally, socially, intellectually, and even physically. So, by still playing these games in the studio, are we simply a team that just never grew up? If so, then I’m playing Peter Pan and the rest of the team are the lost boys…

We feel that our creative experiences help us develop our skills, enabling us to share our thoughts, feelings and ideas with one another, and then wider to clients and project stakeholders too.

The benefits of play in a studio environment

Relieve studio stress.

It's no lie that a deadline led environment like ours can be stressful at times. Play is fun and triggers the release of those positive endorphins. Play can promote a great sense of well-being and even relieve the pain of a tough design/dev challenge.

Improve project brain power.

Playing puzzle based games works the brain, improving memory and function. Playing and challenging others in the studio environment makes for stronger relationships when working as a team.

Stimulate the mind and boost creativity.

We learn new tasks better when they are made fun. Being in a relaxed and playful mood helps stimulate imagination, fueling creativity to support problem-solving and enabling us to reach better solutions for our clients.

Improving our relationships as a team and with clients.

Sharing fun can improve empathy, raise compassion, trust and intimacy with others. Developing playful solutions to problems can help loosen a stressful situation, break the ice with new clients, and form new business relationships.

Our NEW favorite way to play

Ok so, we don’t only play nonsense games that are unrelated to design thinking, (sorry Cards Against Humanity), we do play some that are directly related to what we do too.

Earlier this year we came across a game very much related to design thinking and problem-solving…


That dreaded sentence that only a few dare utter to any design/creative in this case represents a successful Kick Starter game, that promises you will play your way to creativity and innovation.

In short, Make it Pop is a design thinking card game that hopes to improve design thinking and creative confidence. A versatile game produced to support and facilitate fun workshops, act as a tool for design team battles and has become an essential exercise when performing brainstorming sessions. It’s also great for breaking the mood of a long stressful week in the studio with a few beers on a Friday.

Mip pack

Improving our skills

Make it Pop has helped our wider team develop a number of skills across brainstorming, ideation and design thinking.

Team players

Although we only have 3 designers here at Abstrakt, we very much see our wider team as the creative team too. Our account managers, marketing teams and our developers are all great creative thinkers, albeit maybe not as loud as the design team, Make it Pop enabled our wider team to voice some excellent ideas and show off their badass creative skills.

Pitch power-ups

Like many agencies and places of work, we are a great cocktail of characters and personalities and that means a number of our team don’t always feel as confident when pitching and speaking to clients. Playing games where we have to present our thought process supports crucial skill development needed for our industry. Make it Pop creates a safe place for the team to improve skills with problem-solving and raising that enthusiasm for presenting your work.

Wicked workshops

Teams, co-workers or clients lacking inspiration? On a number of our larger projects we facilitate and run workshops, more often than not with a large number of people in attendance. At times the ice can be firmly frozen and it takes some time for the clients and the team to warm to the creative process. We’ve not yet tried and tested Make it Pop with external teams or clients, but we feel playing the game would act as the perfect ice-breaker - getting the full project team acquainted, breaking down barriers, embarrassment and get everyone creative or not comfortable with the design thinking process participating freely.

All work and no play…

Not here. We spend too much of our lives at work for it to be dull. At Abstrakt, we advocate a fun, collaborative and exciting working environment. Like stated above, playing games fuels creativity and relieves stress. Above all, we play as a team to relax, have fun and enjoy the company of everyone at Abstrakt… and that sometimes it leads to Oliver getting kicked :( (Sorry!)

Mip example

Can you come out to play?

Have a project in mind? Need some support in facilitating creative workshops, then get in touch, and if you’re lucky, we’ll bring Make it Pop with us.

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