Designing a 'Climate Change Game' as an innovative education course

News - 29 November 2023 - Communication BK

Today's new generations, especially young people, will face constant changes in landscapes during their lifetime. Is it possible to make young people aware of how climate change will change our landscapes and cities? Can we involve children and students in co-designing the landscape, taking into account the changing climate?

To achieve this, a new experimental design studio was launched within the Comenius program. This course is designed for students to see how we can involve children with multiple social innovations in climate change issues. The idea is to do this by designing different types of outdoor games, such as art installations, visual games and role-playing games. The game will be the tool through which students and children can gain information, see the world from different perspectives and ultimately imagine and change the future world. 

Designed experiences

Games are "designed experiences" where players can learn by doing and being rather than just absorbing information as in traditional educational formats. By taking on different roles and perspectives, the educational game experience evokes emotions that help gain new awareness, develop a more complex vision of the future and bring about positive and concrete change in the chosen place. 

During the course, students explore an assigned landscape and apply the concepts of play, design and climate change. They will design and collectively build landscape and architecture plays for children in the open-air environment. Playful, emotional, artistic, outdoor learning and co-design methods with children will be incorporated. As a final result, the students will construct the installations on-site and invite the children involved to play and test the proposed landscape games together.

The Groen van Prinsterer Primary School in Voorburg is involved in this course, and a large event involving several schools nationwide will be organized. This innovative design studio will be followed by an exhibition and a book publication promoted internationally as part of the Comenius Project. 

More information

The design studio "Climate Change as a Game. (Co)Designing with Children the Landscape of the Future," supported by the prestigious Comenius program, can now enroll master's students of architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning. 

The Comenius Program is the leading educational innovation program in the Netherlands and Europe. Laura Cipriani received the prestigious Comenius Grant for this educational project in 2023.