Ride with Wind

A playful experience for Lego House outdoor zone

Collaboration: Lego House, Denmark
Keywords: learning through play, play with nature, 3D modelling, aerodynamic


After a field trip to Lego House in Billund, Denmark, I chose their physical outdoor zone because I am interested in outdoor play, and also Lego house's outdoor zone was under development.
The outdoor zone I chose

Design Ideas

Play with Contrast: a play experience activated by bad weather

In Billund, the rain and wind are very common. I want to design a play experience that turns the negative weather to positivity and implicitly teaches children shift the way of thinking.
Can we play when it is rainy?
A canvas, constructed of special lego bricks, plays music when hit by the rain flow

Can we play when it is windy?
A game to compete for the highest score of parachute landing your minifigure

Play Theory: Learning through Play

Expected behaviour coding with learning through play tool from Lego Foundation

After discussion with designers from Lego House and Lego Foudndation, I decided on the wind concept because of its uniqueness and better expected playful learning outcome. The children are expected to be "I am enthusiastic about trying this again", "I am invested", "I am deliberate about the changes i make", "I am developing my own understanding" and "I cooperate with others to initiate new play experience".

Play Theory: Playful Tension

The orderly and unruly of ride with wind play experience

Playful tension is a theoretical concept of play design, developed by Jess Uhre Rahbek, that bridges the gap between play theory and play design practice. To assist the player in achieving playful tension, the play needs to bring the orderly and the unruly together.

Hang Glider Design

It is impossible to develop the whole play experience within the time frame. So I focused on developing a hang glider because the flying is the key part of the experience.
1st Iteration
Basic structure of a hang glider

3rd Iteration
Improved aerodynamic structure, wireless remote control, and improved materials: basal wood frame and paper wing

6th Iteration
Added propeller for longer flying experience, Improved frame material for robustness, Duplo brick container for electronics, More colour combinations

Testings with hang glider

I tested various times both indoor and outdoor.

Demo and Feedback

With Lego designers

At the end of the project, I presented my prototype to 10 designers from Lego House and Lego Foundation and received feedbacks from different perspectives, like business feasibility, local legislation, design process, space management and etc.

Rahbek, J. U. (2020). Designing for Playful Tension. In H. M. Skovbjerg, & S. K. Gudiksen (Eds.), Framing Play Design: A Hands-on Guide for Designers, Learners & Innovators (pp. 63). BIS-Verlag.

The Lego Foundation. (2020, August 20). Learning Through Play Experience Tool: Zooming in on the five characteristics of Learning through Play. Learning Through Play. https://learningthroughplay.com/learning-through-play-experience-tool