PLAY VILLAGE is a vision for a unique lifestyle of collaboration and play – in a playful, vibrant environment where life is play and where the inhabitants experiment with play as life.
PLAY VILLAGE will be a co-housing community in Vejle for families and individuals dreaming of a more social life based on co-creation, play and learning. The urban village will be a home for families across generations and professions from both Denmark and the world in an international community to play, make, and live – together.
Almenr is bringing together families with a dream and a team of designers, social scientists, architects and play-professionals to co-dream and co-design the PLAY VILLAGE.
In collaboration with researchers of play and learning, designers, and architects, the community-based design process starts in the fall of 2019. PLAY VILLAGE aims to open its doors late 2020.
The team includes:
Michael Thomsen, Almenr CEO is a former Director of R&D at LEGO, CEO and CIO of Workz, and research director of Interactive Institute. He holds a PhD in media sciences and has a life long passion for co-creation and play.
Lars Lundbye, Almenr CCO and founder is a designer of cooperative power. Lars has built social enterprises in architecture, fashion, learning and water before founding Almenr.
Anna Kim, a senior play developer at LEGO.
Rune Fogh designs toys and games at LEGO. Anna and Rune are initiators of the PLAY VILLAGE idea. They will be in charge of the community once running and will be moving into PLAY VILLAGE
Jonas Halfter designs user experiences and communication at Almenr (Co-founder)
Lucas Cone, PhD in learning at DPU, community organizer, and responsible for the DPU research interface.
Co-dreaming. Building the community and the concept. Locking in a location
Co-designing. Building the needed partnerships. Designing the village. Formalizing finances and legal.
Settling the property and building permits.
Play is an essential part of human existence. In play we experiment and learn to navigate the world. Early childhood learning happens through play, and it is becoming more and more clear that play can and should have a much more prominent role as we grow older as well. Today we know that play is an integral part of vital adult skills like creativity and experimentation and a core element of human happiness. Nevertheless, we tend to conceptually connect play only with childhood. We think of toys and playgrounds, and we find it hard to see the concept of play in the context of work, architecture and everyday life. When thinking about adults we tend to replace play with games, i.e. experimentation with rules and collaboration with competition.
And what is even worse: Research shows that both children and adults play less and less!
Co-housing is a powerful remedy to the ailments of contemporary stressful family lives and of increased individualism and experienced loneliness.
Co-housing facilitates the interaction among neighbors, providing social, practical, economic and environmental benefits. Co-housing communities build social capital – and encourages more sustainable and fun behaviors. The simple act of eating together on a regular basis is a strong catalyst: As architect and founder of the Seattle Schemata Cohousing Project, Grace Kim says: (FastCompany, 2017): “It turns out when you eat together, you start planning more activities together, you share more things, you start to watch each other’s kids”.
Denmark has for decades been a pioneer in co-housing, and the co-housing movement – now growing all over the world (FastCompany, 2017) – has its origins in Denmark in the 1960s with a number of successful co-housing villages being built and ambassadors such as Bodil Graae with her article “Children Should Have One Hundred Parents,” (Politiken, 1967) stressing the potential for learning, play and life quality. With a big demand, co-housing promises to change the real estate market as we know it.
Co-housing is an intentional community of private homes placed strategically close to each other around shared spaces. Shared spaces may include workshops, open spaces, play areas, gardens, walkways, a common house with a kitchen and dining area – and include shared resources such as cars, tools, office facilities, toys etc. Joint activities during the week bring the community together.