Design for play is not just about toys

We recently kick-started the world’s first Design for Play MA Programme. Now we open the brand new Play Workshop

You might think Design School Kolding’s new MA programme in Design for Play is all about designing toys. However, this is far from the case. A key feature of the Design for Play programme is the new Play Workshop. It is built specifically to create a space for creative expression and idea creation. The workshop officially opens on Friday 6 October where the new play students will display their first prototypes. The first few weeks the students have focused on patient democracy at Vejle Hospital. A task that MA student Mairi-Claire Macdonald from Scotland thinks has great potential:

- We’ve already worked with something as important as social issues, and I really like that about the school. Here, you reach out to society, identify problems and use design to solve them – or at least you try. Where I come from, it’s all about ”design, design, design”, but what does that mean and what is design’s role in society? I believe Design School Kolding has the answer to that.

Bryce Gordon Duyvewaardt is also one of the 15 MA students who has been accepted to the new MA programme in Kolding. His dream is to design for LEGO. Yet, he emphasises that working with peers and having a playful approach to a process or a problem is just as important to him as designing products:

- Being with peers who think the way I do, that play is not just about toys, is very important to me. I didn’t have that at my former school. The focus and the insight here is more profound, and I hope that I will learn how to put my abilities in design and play to good use.

The play journey
Engaging in a new game can take you to new and unfamiliar places and the journey can be just as rewarding as the game itself:

- I was handed an open invitation to a brand new world. I didn’t know what I was getting into but I knew that I wouldn’t find it anywhere else in the world. It was like having a plane ticket for an unknown destination where I just knew I wanted to go to discover and explore the new, says Bryce Gordon Duyvewaardt from Vancouver, Canada.

The two-year MA programme accepts students based on their design talent and passion for play. They must be frontrunners for new ways of designing in a society and job market where, according to the World Economic Forum, creativity will soon be one of the most required competences and where more than half the jobs are not invented yet.

-The goal is to equip a generation of designers with new and powerful skills for designing clothes, games, toys, processes, user interfaces and physical environment – in other words, anything that advances play, creativity and personal expression, says Lene Nyhus Friis who is head of Programme and head of the Lab for Design for Play.

The Design for Play Master’s programme was developed in close dialogue with the LEGO Foundation and partly builds on inspiration and experiences from the Play User Lab and Design School Kolding's collaboration with the Capital of Children A/S. World-leading design agency, DesignIt, also partner in the programme as do KOMPAN and Ledon.