Playware research focuses on the creation of play and playful experiences, which is rapidly becoming a vital competitive factor, not only in genuine play products like toys and playgrounds, but in areas as learning, sport, rehabilitation, and physiotherapy. 

play cubesIn this perspective playware is among the most successful product areas and has a significant market share and growth rate, globally attracting significant investments for product development. From a research point of view, however, the field is underdeveloped, and product development typically takes place on the basis of current best practice, of intuition and tradition rather than on the basis of actual knowledge about users and current market trends.

Building on successful synthetic cooperation 

Along with digital technology making ever greater inroads into the market and squeezes out traditional product types, so familiar values, traditions and best practice are weakened, the need for research-based knowledge becomes more urgent if Danish manufacturers are to compete on the global market.

Close collaboration between play research, technological research and play industry is of paramount importance for the centre. The centre builds on a successful synthetic  cooperation model taken from previous projects, where knowledge and hypotheses about play and playware are transferred to prototypes developed, designed and tested in close interplay with technological research and industrial partners (see the list of ongoing and previous collaboration projects on the “Projects” page).

The synthetic working method employed at the Centre for Playware plays a significant role in the development of this collaboration. This way of working requires ongoing research in all three strands (humanities, technology, industry), and further requires that the knowledge acquired is operationalised. 

Possibilities and potential

Playware is a new industrial field, but the possibilities of using intelligent technology to create play are enormous, and until now only scantily explored and developed. The centre aims at contributing towards the formation of a Danish playware industry by involving a growing number of business enterprises in product development and research, by active support of spin-out start-up companies, and by taking an active role in setting up a national playware consortium in cooperation with interested parties from industry, research and educational institutions.