100 Students, 13 Companies, 16 Solutions

A strategic coffee game that will teach young people about coffee and sustainable production; a payment universe that visualises your goals and dreams; and a character universe combined with a popular dairy product that gives children play experiences beyond the ordinary. These are just some of the solutions that were generated in connection with Design School Kolding’s DesignCamp2018 titled "PLAY − The Design Way." Here, 100 students from national and international universities collaborated with 13 small and large-sized companies to create more playful processes, products and services.

Here is an overview of the projects.

Little Brother in Space and Your Milk in the Vending Machine

Partner: Arla

Challenges: How is it possible to create playful experiences in relation to bits of cheese? And how can play experiences be integrated into the distribution of school milk?

The group working on Ostehaps (bits of cheese) has created a unique character universe in space, which encourages children to gather, exchange, build and play together, while the group working on school milk has focussed on making the experience with the daily school milk more personal, fun, playful and sustainable.

"Milk and school – both are compulsory for children. How can we make drinking their milk in school something the children actually want to do and look forward to doing? That mindset completely changes the perspective ... by merely posing the question you've come a long way in your "play" approach. If you manage to create excitement so that the children can look forward to a different experience every day − or every week − then they will have different expectations for that product," says Lars Skytte Poulsen, Senior Manager at Arla.

The group working on cheese bits consists of: Beate Neimane, Joan Glintborg Vissing, Amir Reza Azadfallah, Michelle Brandstrup, René Briand Hansen and Maria Elisabetta Borriello.

The group working on school milk consists of: Mirjam Aimla, Rebecca Christiansen Houmøller, Grecia Estrada Gonzalez, Jiawei Huang, Joonas Riisalu and Tamara Širin Shawkatová.

Play is at a Premium

Partner: Danske Bank

Challenges: How is it possible to create playful experiences for young adults, for the elderly and for people with special needs?

With the WorthIT solution one group of students has created a digital universe with a physical installation that offers unique and playful experiences, focussing on young people’s dreams and the realisation of these dreams. The other group has created EasyCard, a personal and playful, touch-activated debit card that is tied to transactions and account balances and which will make life easier for the elderly and for people with special needs.

"It need not be fun, but it must have the element of simplicity known from play, and the customers should be able to be engaged in the use of the application. I'm utterly impressed at how much the group has achieved in such a short time," says Jeppe Møller Thastum, Lead Business Analyst at Danske Bank.

The group around young people: Benedetta Verrotti. Chae-Eun Ahn, Neza Penca, Virag Mezofi, Shuang Zhang

The group around elderly: Undine Vilde, Elettra Renzi, Martin Graversgård Dalstrup, Nuno Alvito, Yu Le, Ilya Yavnoshan

Play Should Show the Way

Partner: Fredericia Municipality

Challenges: How can we make it easier for citizens to walk in from the street and seek help? And how can we create meaningful communities that, in a playful way, allow citizens to simultaneously give support to and receive support from other citizens?

These are concrete issues for Fredericia Municipality, and thanks to two groups of design students the municipality has now found solutions to these problems.

One group of students has created "Guiding you to Your Entrance." The concept is analogous and consists of seven art installations at seven different locations in the city indicating – in concrete as well as figurative terms – that help can be found; you just have to walk to “Your Entrance,” which is a place where people in need can walk in from the street and seek help.

The other group of students has created the "House of Sharing" − a meeting place where people can find each other across challenges and competencies; a place where you do not need to be on welfare or homeless in order to be allowed in; you can receive support and be productive all at once. The place is a kind of "sharing economy" of skills and tasks, and every time someone donates, the centre lights up.

"I think it works very well. And you can easily combine the two concepts. We have been inspired, and now we have a lot of material we can bring back to management, "says Anne Philipp, designer in Fredericia Municipality.

The group creating the “House of Sharing” consists of: Alba Armengol, Eimile Zalubaite, Keila Zari, Luís Alvito, Stephanie Kneissl and Tzlil Ross.

The group creating “The Way to your Entrance” consists of: Mirjam Aimla, Rebecca Christiansen Houmøller, Grecia Estrada Gonzalez, Jiawei Huang, Joonas Riisalu andTamara Širin Shawkatová.

Can Data be Learned Through Playful Interaction?

Partner: Givskud Zoo

Challenge: Can we invent a system that evaluates the instruction we offer 6−13 year-olds in a way that is both playful and physical – a method that allows the teacher to evaluate the effect of her teaching and also gives the students an opportunity to recap the main learning points?

The students have generated an evaluation system that transforms play into data: "The Impact Arena," a kind of giant 'multiple choice questions' − just fun, physical and playful and focussed on collaboration.

"Play is important to the creation of whole individuals, and play can be a creative tool on many levels. I have nothing but praise for the students. They took the assignment seriously and they worked professionally to complete the task. It’s my impression that they had good sparring with external and internal "teachers." I am pleased with the results of their work and I appreciate that they had the opportunity to work with a prototype and make both a video and a poster for the presentation. This makes it easier for me to convey the idea to my colleagues. And then I was touched by the students' huge commitment, cooperative skills and determination to deliver a good product," says Susanne Toft Henriksen, zoo educator at Givskud Zoo.

The group consists of: Ann-Kathrin Scholtyssek, Phyllis Man Ho Kwan, Simona Cavallieri, Clara Borras Coll, Aiga Beinarovica and Joachim Madsen.

"WeDo" − Teaching for the 21st Century

Partner: LEGO Education

Challenge: How can play help primary school teachers become better equipped to integrate physical technology into their teaching?

With "WeDo" the students have created a teaching ecosystem that spans the traditional teaching methods and digital competencies and rethinks the structure of the lessons and the teaching skills that are vital in the 21st century, including coding and creativity.

The group consists of: Gioia Arieti, Lorenzo Bigatti, Ignacio Piedras Madrazo, Mairiclaire MacDonald, Madison Scheper and Wu Weina.

Scrapbots Unleashes Play

Partner: LEGO House

Challenge: How can we reinvent the play experience in City Architect and motivate families to re-visit LEGO House?

"Scrapbots" is a meaningful play experience crafted by students, where users create an exciting urban structure and build themselves out of waste and resource issues – a play experience you can visit time and time again and educate yourself at your own level.

"I was surprised but also incredibly excited about what they have accomplished. They focus on how we can solve our common problems through play, for example in relation to renewable energy. Here we have a layer of learning where the children actually complete something, which makes it meaningful for them," says Rikke Ranch Høgstrup, architect and experience designer at LEGO House.

The group consists of: Anne Laustsen, Daniel Salazar, Donna-Marie Jørgensen, Ela Pietak, Laura Peres, Tommaso Mazzoni and Xueyi Zhou.

Tweens Themselves have to build the Bridge between the Digital and the Analogue World

Partner: LEGO System Challenge: How can we use social media to create play experiences for girls aged 10+?

Based on young girls' interest in creativity and DIY projects the group of students has created the solution "bric(k)olage" as a natural link between the girls’ digital and physical life, which promotes creativity and sharing.

"I'm excited, both about what they have accomplished, but also about their approach. For what I think is so amazing about today’s design students is that they are user-driven. They take their starting point in the needs that exist here and now and try to analyse them, and instinctively their insights become part of the design," says Søren Lethin, Concept Director at the LEGO Group.

The group consists of: Cinzia Damonte, Julie Sandvoll, Jorge Andrés Duran Batisdidas, Po-Chung Chen, Danielle Lauren Connelly and Tomoki Hirano.

Become Your Own Guide

Partner: Nicolai for Børn (Nicolai for Children, a cultural centre in Kolding)

Challenge: How is it possible, through play, to create a self-guide for families during their visit to the centre whereby they will gain a quality experience on their own?

"The process with the students has been incredibly rewarding and we have been handed a solution that hopefully will inspire our organisation to implement lasting changes. The students’ curiosity and perspective in particular have contributed to new thinking," says Jacob Galtung-Melchior, cultural facilitator at Nicolai for Børn.

The group consists of: Emmanouil Antonios Kasapakis, Kim Nicolaysen, Tabita Nyvang Hartmeyer, Maria Luisa Allegri, Gabriella Sophia Hara Constantinou, Katja Mock and Wenfang Geng.

Thanks for the Coffee

Partner: Peter Larsen Kaffe

Challenge: How is it possible to create playful experiences about coffee for teenagers?

The solution the students have come up with is a strategic card game, "Thanks for the coffee," which allows players to experience the coffee industry from the inside − from cultivation to distribution − and for a while become a coffee entrepreneur with all that it entails in terms of business, social and environmental considerations.

"It's nice to see students let their creativity loose. What often happens when we get older is that we get fixed in our ways, when in reality we need to incorporate play into our lives. The secret of running a successful company is actually to bridge the gap between what is "boring" − all the things you have to do − and what is creative," explains Lars Aaen, Head of Development and Communications at Peter Larsen Kaffe.

The group consists of: María Vitaller del Olmo, Wieland Rambke, Dina Haabendahl Petersen, Danica Mlynáriková and Jovana Durovic.

Hit the Right Note

Partner: Sprogeriet

Challenge: How is it possible, through play and games, to assist families who want to stimulate their children’s language development?

The students have experimented with pattern recognition and created an interactive game that activates smaller children who like physical games.

"They have been immensely good at listening to our wishes and demands, and at the same time they have generated new thoughts and ideas that we would never have come up with ourselves. They have managed to make the game widely applicable ... So we are very excited about the product they have created. We had focussed on families, but this concept can also be used in day-care centres," says Camilla H. Nellemann and Helene Cooper Larsen from Sprogeriet.

The group consists of: Joni MOK, Ninon LÊ VAN, Sara DALSAGER, Bryce DUYVEWAARDT, Morten ELSBORG and Joseph YANG.

A Cup of Play

Collaboration partner: Starbucks

Challenge: How might we re-imagine a global brand design team through play? A specific challenge for Starbucks and one that the company now has a solution to thanks to the input of a group of design students. In January/February 2018, Starbucks Amsterdam joined the annual DesignCamp at Design School Kolding – focusing this time on how you can use play and design to produce playful processes, products and services in businesses.

The student project is about reconnecting with company visions and values. Through play the Starbucks team is encouraged to develop rituals and break their everyday routines. Using the Starbucks paper cup, iconic within the stores as well as the Starbucks office itself, the students encourage daily interaction with the cup revealing a challenge with a thermal reaction. Challenges touching on the culture, creativity, teamwork, communication and play. All the things that make Starbucks what it is today.

“Our collaboration flowed quite well. The students were curious about us and our company and the other way around. Since we could not be present all through the week, our touch-point sessions worked really well: intro, presentation and final feedback. Learning on the possibilities and opportunities on bringing play attitudes (at different levels) into our businesses has been one of my most important take-aways as well as feeding back experience to students and academia,” says José Subero Diaz, Senior Project Designer at Starbucks Amsterdam.

Students: Neza Landeker, Alvaro Alcaide, Nikoletta Afentouli, Cecilie Bak Lindhardt Fabricius, Linda Egtved Olesen, Suika Yamada.

Space Play

Partner: LEDON

Challenge: How can we create a framework that promotes meaningful play across ages and sizes?

The project group has created a solution that focusses on interaction across generations.

The group consist of: Iga Górniak, Ladislav Misicko, Hazal Doga Kilickap, Rabia Yilmaz, Ewa Warzycka and Eva-Karlotta Tatar.


The group consists of: Ege, Emma, Francesco, Lasma, Sune, Yu Miau