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Brief Published: 23 Oct 2015

Dutch Design Week: Educating Through Play

L-R: Lisa Hu, Marijke Timmerman, DAE x Eon

These new, engaging educational tools use playful techniques to introduce young children to the complex topics of politics, healthy eating and clean energy. They were presented at Dutch Design Week from October 17-25, an event known for showcasing advances in social design solutions.

  • Active Citizens: The Terra Nova board game teaches children about democracy and how nations are run through a learn by doing approach. Players build and govern a new society on an uninhabited island by debating moral dilemmas, such as decisions to welcome newcomers, or healthcare provision. Designed by Design Academy graduate Lisa Hu, the game aims to connect abstract ideas with real-life circumstances to improve in-school citizenship education.
  • Healthier Habits: Dutch illustrator Marijke Timmerman's book, The True Size of Food, examines our modern relationships with food, and questions how we can improve our eating habits. She has translated this concept into an educational snack box that asks children to compare an apple and a chocolate bar. Tasks include working out the energy gained from eating the items, and the ingredients each contains. For more on healthy foods for younger consumers, see Child-Friendly Dining: Catering for Gen Z & Alpha.
  • Future Energy: Toys to Teach is a series of build-your-own toys that introduce children to the opportunities provided by solar energy. The kits include the components needed to make a solar-powered car or windmill, and the story of how renewable energy can be used to tackle a particular issue. The designs were created by Design Academy Eindhoven students working in collaboration with energy company Eon and are likely to appeal to younger generations who are growing up with a strong environmental awareness and hopeful attitudes for the future. See our Sustainable Futures Update: The Consumer of 2030 for further insight.

Look out for more coverage from Dutch Design Week 2015, coming soon. In the meantime, see our most recent events coverage from London Design Festival, or for more on fresh approaches to education, see The Future of Learning.