Because We’re Bored

Anthony Bui

My goal is to make the listless heart wiggle with joy again. In this effort, I explore imbuing my environment with critical interventions, reimagining objects so that they encourage me to play — freely, intentionally, and with a renewed sense of urgency.


I believe that in our ever-increasing desire to become more efficient adults, we sacrifice our imagination, stop playing, overestimate the time we have, and lose sight of who’s important. Under the guise of self-intervention, I reimagine objects so that they encourage me to play again — freely, intentionally, and with a renewed sense of urgency.

First, I explore ways to encourage play in our everyday life. In a suite of “intervention toys”, I imbue everyday adult objects with toyish characteristics, with the intent of creating cognitive dissonance between the stoic adult and playful youth within each of us. These “intervention toys” give us doses of small play, opening us up to flow into larger play more easily.

Next, I reimagine our broken social networks, making the case that in giving up our agency to social networks we lose sight of the people who matter in our lives. I set out to build a tool that helps me connect to the people I want to connect with in my life; a tool that is more a rolodex, and less a social network, highlighting intentionality.

Lastly, understanding that intentionality requires work I aim to increase our sense of urgency so that we’re inspired to do that work. Channeling the spirit of memento mori I challenge us to see time in its entirety, encouraging us to live our lives with more playful tenderness and urgency.

I want to acknowledge that we have to balance our lives. I’m not suggesting we stop working, but rather I want to highlight play as the catalyst to a joyful life. We don’t need it all the time, but we do need it. After all, as Stuart Brown solemnly reminds us, “The opposite of play is not work” it is depression”.



Thesis Presentation Video