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Perkins Eastman Research Publishes New White Paper Examining Environments that Support Innovation Through Play

New York – Perkins Eastman Research, the firm-wide research arm of global architecture firm Perkins Eastman, is proud to announce the publication of its newest white paper, “Not Just Child’s Play: How Playful Environments Contribute to Innovation.” The paper’s authors examine the unique confluence of play and innovation, and ask just what constitutes each and how one directly contributes to the other. “[It] is uniquely within a state of play,” the authors write in the introduction, “that our minds are most receptive to unconventional thinking and the discovery of new combinations. When we aren’t afraid to make mistakes, we can escape fully into the creative process without having to think about where it will take us.” As the paper demonstrates, such considerations hold relevance across a range of industries, including business, tech, education, and government.

The crux of “Not Just Child’s Play” is the idea of Innovation itself, and just how we consider this otherwise abstract concept within a world and economies that are continually evolving. Innovation as an end-goal in and of itself can be difficult to grasp, especially when what constitutes innovation are ideas and actions and advancements that have yet to be conceived. Therefore, within this process we strive to achieve new connections, raise new questions, and, increasingly in today’s world, free ourselves from external pressures, e.g. project deadlines, conference calls, designated brainstorming sessions and the like. And this is where Play comes in.

Play is a proven means to positively impact one’s social, emotional, and cognitive development; this reasoning, however, is often limited to toddlers and children, not grown adults in the workplace. As this paper seeks to establish, through examining the work of multiple academics in the field of play and innovation, as well as case studies on Google and other corporations known for shifting the paradigm, the benefits of play extend well beyond childhood. “With every interaction we test the limits of our surroundings,” write the authors, “throwing ourselves into games of trial and error as we try to figure out how things work. Play is an intuitive way of learning.” They continue, “Many experts seem to agree that innovation equals connection; connections between people, and connections between ideas.”

“Not Just Child’s Play” is authored by Rebecca Milne, LEED Green Associate, Katie Gluckselig, and Scott Fallick AIA, LEED AP, all based in the New York office. The full white paper is available to download at

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