MA-thesis project: Explorative Space Builders

thesis-presentation Naomi_FORSIDE

CODE are happy to present the MA-thesis project in codesign ‘Explorative Space Builders’ conducted by Naomi Aholou-Komedza. In the thesis report Naomi writes: My master thesis project is about finding ways to involve citizen into the conceptualisation of a public spaces. I choose to focus onto the playground of Børne U.N.I, a school in Vesterbro in Copenhagen as a case study of public space. My project partners are Gitte Svenning the headmaster of Børne U.N.I and Elverdal a playground design company. For the headmaster of the school their ambition in this project is to get ideas for their future playground that they are planning to build as soon they have gotten funding. And for Elverdal their ambitions are to get inspired by my way of involving people in the design process.

In my previous education, a bachelor in industrial design and two years diploma in product design, I worked on public spaces but I never imagined to include users into the conceptualisation of the project. I see this project as a way to get aware how my design knowledge has evolved on leading projects, over the past two years in the co-design master.

For this project I engaged designers and teachers, the head of school, children and one parent in different encounters, where we jointly imagined a common vision for a the future playground of Børne U.N.I. All this with some anthropological methods, empathy, considering trial and error an intrinsic element of innovation, and experimentation. I want to interrogate the real needs of the users to suggest new solutions.

The existing play ground at Børne U.N.I

Thesis-report-v8 Naomi_p_9_existing_playgroundProblem statement

The objective is to find ways to conceptualise the school’s court yard collaboratively with people of the school, depending on the needs of the users of the playground, their practices, uses, culture and the stories that they want to tell.

thesis-presentation Naomi_s_17

Snap shots from the process

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Part of the final proposal

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After the projects finished (June 2018)

Børne U.N.I. liked the project very much and are now searching for external funding in order to build the proposal. We do hope that they succeed.

Naomi at the exhibition show


If you want to know more – please contact Naomi via email: naomiaholou1[at]


About Eva Brandt

Eva Brandt is Professor in Social Design at Design School Kolding. Eva is scientific leader of the Lab for Social Design. The main part of her research is about how designers can stage open design processes (design labs based on participatory design/codesign) with many participants who both can inquire into existing practices and explore possible futures in common. She also contributes to theorizing about experimental design research driven by programs and experiments. She has been contributing to several books such as Design Spaces (IT Press, 2005), Rehearsing the Future (The Danish Design School Press, 2010), XLAB (The Danish Design School Press, 2011), Facilitating Change – Using Interactive Methods in Organizations, Communities and Networks (Polyteknisk Forlag, 2011), and Routledge International Handbook of Participatory Design (Routledge, 2013). Practice Based Design Reseach (2017). Ledelse og samskabelse i den offentlige sektor (2018). Eva has been chairing the Nordic Design Research Conference in 2013, and are chairing the Nordes 2021 too.
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