My chief takeaway from The Fun Theory is that there are many ways to approach an issue—more fun, more transparency, more education, etc., and these all address the main problem which is that the hidden costs of our actions have been hidden in so many ways.
The piano stairs remind us that stairs are not that big a deal (though in the Stockholm subway system one does get used to looking for the escalators, as many of the stops are way, way underground) and that we just need to be shaken out of our comfort zone. Same for the ease of bottle recycling. That game didn’t really look that fun, but it was different, and easy. I like how Trader Joe’s reminds us that “a bag in the hand is worth two in the car”, appealing to people’s good intentions to re-use bags.
In my own field of architecture, we see how the technological changes to buildings have been hidden behind walls, and the image of the home, especially, has remained unchanged in a long time. When the average single family home still has a big front yard, orientation facing the street rather than the sun, a formal dining room, hidden mechanical systems, to name a few, we are reminded that some of our most lasting, permanent decisions need a shake-up, a re-thinking that could take some lessons from the piano stairs and the recycling arcade. When was the last time we thought of buildings as fun?