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ITP Recess

For just one day at ITP, breaks at class time are full-fledged events to look forward to! For three class periods on a Thursday, we hosted a 30 minute recess activity: Live Drawing, Swordfighting, and a Surprise Happy Birthday party!


"Incredible." - ITP Student "So fun!" - ITP Student

"Wow, I thought this was a Design Lab session!" - ITP Student

"We should do this more often!" - ITP Student

"I don't want to go back to class!" - ITP Student

"This is the first time I've seen something like this at ITP" - ITP Faculty


The Making of ITP Recess

Working with Adnan and Leia, we aimed to transform a space at ITP into something completely different. How can we engage a banal space into a fun, exciting, and special experience for our peers?

The word 'space' started with a physical connotation but eventually changed to a temporal one. Every student experiences a class break in a pretty utilitarian way: hydrating, using the bathroom, going for a short walk, or putzing around chatting with friends. What if the break was an experience that students could engage their minds in a fun and exciting way?

We brainstormed a list of fun activities and narrowed it down to a few that we liked the best.

What Worked?

  • Our most popular event was the first one: live drawing!

  • ITP-ers love drawing!

  • I emailed faculty to ask them to schedule their break at some point during the halfway point of their class. Some were incredibly receptive and encouraged their students to join our fun activity!

  • Shawn van Every even complimented us, claiming that he had never seen anything like it at ITP.

What Didn't Work?

  • People really like finite activities: ask them to do a drawing, and they'll jump right in. But if the activity is vague, like "swordfight" or "party," they're confused and don't know what to do

  • People are attracted to other people; if it's just the three of us goofing around, people think we're doing something by ourselves.

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