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Description of Area of Interest

Adult play & improvisation, creativity, teaching/learning, relational intelligence & practices (includes therapy, research and organizations), leadership, research methodology, and masculinity



PLAYLAB NYC is Dr. Saliha Bava's lab for playfully exploring generative play practices for a richer life!
We are currently engaged in the following projects:

EMERGING MEANINGS OF PLAY: How do adults conceptualize play? What new meanings and views of play emerge after an immersive experience of exploring play via the activities of playing?

ACCESSING SUCCESS IN LEARNING THROUGH SYSTEMIC DESIGN: To increase equitable practices in teaching-learning using the innovative methodologies of design thinking and systems thinking by designing an applied course in relational intelligence.
To help students increase their relational intelligence

PLAY IN SOCIAL PROCESSES: Researching literature and conversations with leaders in the fields of improv, creativity, communicative action, designing for social change and leadership to study play as an everyday social process by which we make-up the world around us.

To learn about each of these projects in greater depth, please visit:

“Play will be to the twenty-first century what work was to the industrial age – our dominant way of knowing, doing and creating value. Therefore we need play theory and research, of a multidisciplinary nature, that can deepen and widen our understanding of this most dynamic of human evolved capacities”-- Kane, The Play Ethic


Experiences that you will gain
  • Literature searches
  • Annotated bibliographies
  • Summarizing or writing up literature
  • Data entry
  • Project design
  • Website management & blogs based on literature
Minimum Requirements
  • Research Skills: Writing, reading, finding articles and people, organizing, & synthesizing
  • Willingness For: Learning different ways of thinking (non-traditional), explore interdisciplinary literature and learning to design & make sense
  • Good Fit: Outside the box thinker, organized, responsive/communicative & responsible.
  • Selection: A conversation with me after submitting their intent via the online portal.
  • Commitment: 5 hrs/week per semester & meetings with me. Based on grants sometimes there may be a paid RA position.


Submit your interest at: or email Dr. Bava at to discuss your interest & need.