Playmates create
unique design Programme

In collaboration with the LEGO Foundation and the LEGO Group, Design School Kolding is ready to launch the world’s first Master’s Degree programme in Design for Play

This academic year, Design School Kolding will offer a new and unique graduate programme in play and design. The international name of the programme is Design for Play and is a brand new two-year Master’s programme that will enrol students based on their design talent and their interest in play.

"With the new programme we want to contribute to a more playful and thus more creative society. The prospective students are going to be frontrunners and outstanding designers of products, systems and services that provide exceptional conditions for play and the playful human being," says Elsebeth Gerner Nielsen, Rector of Design School Kolding.

Scandinavian hub for play
The programme was developed in close dialogue with the LEGO Foundation, which has contributed DKK 25 million to be distributed over the next five years.

"The LEGO Foundation considers the new programme to be an important contribution to the development of a future where children have the opportunity to learn through play. The world is in a state of constant change, and skills such as creativity, problem solving and the ability to engage in lifelong learning are more essential than ever before, and play in particular is crucial if children are to develop these skills, "says Bo Stjerne Thomsen, the LEGO Foundation’s Head of Research.

The programme will engage some of the world's best designers, researchers, institutions and businesses, thus creating a Scandinavian hub for play and design, which will demonstrate the practical significance of research into play. The LEGO Group's practical contribution to the programme is to offer students the opportunity to work on specific projects aimed at children; furthermore the company's expertise within play experiences has been integrated into the curriculum.

The play does not end here
The newly established graduate programme is firmly grounded in the strong Scandinavian design tradition, and the quality of the curriculum will be ensured through collaboration with some of the world's leading educational institutions, including Stanford, MIT and Cambridge.
Direct collaboration with the practical business reality is essential. Hence the focal point of much of the programme will be very specific design challenges, as they arise – not just in the LEGO Group, but in the many other Danish companies that work with play or want to do so.

The deadline for application for admission to the Design for Play programme is as early as 1 May 2017. The first class will start on 4 September, and in the course of the two years of training, the students will acquire new and powerful skills designing clothes, games, toys, processes, user interfaces and physical environment – in other words, anything that advances the playful human being.

But this is not where the play ends. The global design agency, Designit, also belongs to the partnership circle. In addition, Design School Kolding, the LEGO Group and the LEGO Foundation will invite other companies and public institutions to become future partners. There is a need and room for many more playmates.

The Design for Play Master’s programme was developed in close dialogue with the LEGO Foundation, which has contributed DKK 25 million to the establishment of the programme; in addition a play lab will be developed, and a professor, an associate/assistant professor and a number of PhD students will be appointed. 
The MA programme partly builds on inspiration and experiences from the Play User Lab and Design School Kolding's collaboration with the Capital of Children A/S.

About the LEGO Foundation
The goal of the LEGO Foundation is to inspire and develop the builders of the future – a mission which is shared with the LEGO Group. The LEGO Foundation wants to create a future where learning through play helps children to become creative, dedicated and able to engage in lifelong learning. The purpose of LEGO Foundation's work is to focus on the importance of play in children's development and rethink the framework for learning. In collaboration with leading experts, influential players, teachers and parents the LEGO Foundation will equip, inspire and enable champions of play.

Media contacts
Lene Nyhus Friis, Project Manager, Design School Kolding
Phone: +45 2030 8126

Christina Witcomb, Communication Manager, the LEGO Foundation
Phone: +45 2030 8496