Sliding to lunch

A gigantic new slide makes it child’s play to get to Design School Kolding’s canteen

Squeals of joy echo through Design School Kolding as employees and students alike take the ride from floor 1 down to the canteen through a newly installed tunnel loop slide which is to be a permanent fixture. With a light bump they land laughing in the canteen, then run back up for another go.

The slide is part of the Design School’s latest initiative: an MA in Design and Play. The study programme, which is the world’s first of its kind, was founded in collaboration with the LEGO Foundation and the LEGO Group. It accepted its first batch of students this autumn. Head of Lab for Design and Play Lene Nyhus Friis is delighted that play will now enjoy an even higher degree of visibility as essentially a competence and a development opportunity.

- We’ve created a physical framework that signals play and creativity because we wish to express that we are taking play inside the organization. Play is not just something you learn about, it’s how we learn it, says Lene Nyhus Friis.

The slide’s tunnel tube is toxin-free Polyethyline and stands just short of 3 meters tall. It was donated by toy makers Ledon who, with DesignIt and Kompan are part of the partnership framing the study programme. An indoor slide is not only a first for Design School Kolding, but also for the toy maker:

-It’s the first time in Ledon’s history that we’ve installed a slide indoors. The new study programme is relevant to us because it adds integrity and credibility to the value of play. Play is often dismissed as something one need not take seriously because it’s ’only’ play. But the value of play is huge – both as a catalyst for children’s natural development as well as to grown-ups’ way of thinking and learning later in life. It is through play that we progress as people, says Ledon Head of Design Søren Skøtt.