Play Studio

Studio brief

"As basic instinct, play has permeated all cultures from the beginning of time, an inborn drive that powers human thought and action throughout the life cycle, helping us to adapt to our world and create new learning experiences." Stausberg 2013

Article 31 of the UN Convention states that, "every child has the right to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities."

It recommends that governments should be directly responsible for play stating that, "member governments shall respect and promote the right of the child to participate fully in cultural and artistic life and shall encourage the provision of appropriate and equal opportunities for cultural, artistic, recreational and leisure activity."

If, play = learning (Singer, Golinkoff, Hirsh-Pasek,  2006), how do we as a society provide artefacts, objects and spaces for play when the word currently most connected with public spending and educational provision is austerity?

Does play stop with children? As adults do we still play? Play can be a sport or a game. Some of us prefer digital play on our mobile phones, while on the tube, teenagers on playstations are connected by play over the internet. We can play a musical instrument or perform a play. Play can be fun - the quiz at the pub – or play can be radical, subversive and political. But play is always creative.

Semester 1, Project 1:  Play = Learning

The studio will collect, collate and record found and salvaged objects from the streets of London, which relate to a particular subject discipline.

Through a process of research in action the studio will explore how found objects can be transformed into artefacts of value and meaning. The only requirement is that the completed design must be connected to play.

Research will take place in the studio and workshops supported by  lectures to introduce current thinking connecting play, art and design.

Project 2: Playhouse

In semester two, the studio will be organised into multi-disciplinary teams and the brief will be to design a playhouse for Christchurch Primary School in Shooters Hill, London SE18.

The design of the playhouse will be developed with children from the school through co-design or co-create workshops. The space designed will evolve from the research in action projects in the first semester. The brief is to design a flat-pack, active educational space, which is useful for both pupils and staff.

Arrow illustrating Play, a cross-disciplinary design studio


Course Fashion and Textiles MA
Furniture MA
Graphic Design MA
Illustration MA
Interior Design MA
Jewellery MA
Product Design MA
Tutor Sue Ginsburgh
Jez Bradley
Dr John Cross
Matthew Hobson
James Hunting
Mah Rana
Cathy Stack
Lesley Stevenson
Where Commercial Road, CR5-27
When Monday and Thursday