• Doctoral students

Children, Let’s Play! is a design-cultural inquiry into the role of play in the life of refugee children. Contemporary geo-politics are responsible for the massive people’s movement, which is controlled by different migration policies. Children in these situations are affected, marked, exploited and forced to live in-transit. In what conditions and in what ways may play be shaped by and with refugee children to support and empower further development of their social and cultural literacies?

By defining play as designed- by and with children- activities, the project investigates how play can be vital for refugee children, while in-transit or waiting modes of existence. It makes so by focusing in two study cases a) in a“transitional” refugee camp in the Northern Greece b) in a reception center for asylum-seekers in Norway/ Sweden. Children in these cases face different individual and social challenges, which are addressed and analyzed extensively through a social-cultural lens.

Drawing upon theories and concepts from design studies, critical pedagogy, and social – cultural studies the thesis aims to develop an interdisciplinary knowledge frame that places play as the central medium in learning and empowering in such emergency settings. It does so by employing co-design techniques such play workshops, DYI approaches and production, as well as collaboration with existing projects and programs in specific situation in camps and asylum centers.

The thesis contributes to the body of knowledge emerging in the intersection of design studies, politics and culture. It does so by firstly defining play as the actual critical space of negotiations between these fields. Secondly, it proposes modes of making and critique in this intersection. Finally, it contributes through critical design examples to the methodological frame of participation and co-design with children in-transit settings

Angeliki Dimaki Adolfsen

angeliki.dimaki.adolfsen [at] gu.se
Doctoral student in Design