PhD.-Course: Understanding Play - Designing for Emergence

Sand, A. (Arrangør)

Aktivitet: Deltagelse i eller arrangement af en begivenhed Deltagelse i workshop, seminar og kursus


Play design flourishes these years and is applied in many diverse settings and situations. It is part of toy design and game design whether these are analogue or digital, or blended and for children and adults in many ages. It rapidly moves into all
sorts of educational settings from kindergarten to continuing education, and competence development in organizations. It is increasingly used in tourist attractions and museum experiences; in social innovation and healthcare settings; in relation to sustainable change concerns only to name a few. As well, play-based processes and methods are used to foster creativity and innovation among a diverse circle of actors, stakeholders, users, designers etc. broadly in the industry.

The theme of this PhD course takes point of departure in the notion of leaving space for emergence when working with play design, relevant to all domains. We see this as a key understanding across applied settings and as a core understanding of Danish play design. It is an ontology viewpoint where the world is seen as inherently dynamic and not static, but in a constant process of meaning making.

Therefore, departing from causality, predicting and controlling. In such a viewpoint we intend emergent patterns to occur and allow it to unfold to create the conditions for imagination and meaning making.

With the participants we explore the play spectrum from the left side of self-initiated, completely unstructured occurring activities to the right side of structured, highly progression oriented and instruction based ludic formats. We seek to understand what are the specific constraints and conditions across applied situations and how to strike a decision-making balance in the development of play design to allow for emergent patterns and unforeseen imagination.

We invite all PhDs with an interest in play design to join this course.

The PhD course is offered by Design School Kolding. Organised by:

Professor Helle Marie Skovbjerg (Design School Kolding)
Associate Professor Sune Klok Gudiksen (Design School Kolding, LAB Design for Play)
Post.doc. Anne-Lene Sand (Design School Kolding, LAB Design for Play)
Periode3 feb. 20215 feb. 2021
PlaceringKolding, Danmark
Grad af anerkendelseInternational


  • emergence
  • Play
  • Design
  • methodology