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Play to Learn: Cape Town – Berlin

About the project

Play to Learn: Cape Town- Berlin is a collaboration between The Learning Innovation design Lab and Koeln International School of Design. Involving 2 primary schools, one in Cape Town and one  in Berlin, the project will enable learners to design their own computer games. As kids from two continents connect online, collaborate and learn from each other, the project will explore how digital games can support the intercultural learning goals and computer skills of primary school children in a cross cultural context. The Play to Learn Lab will be a physical and virtual space providing a range of tools and knowledge for game making and  creative coding experiences. The program will host design workshops that will challenge kids to design and build their own games using appropriate software.  

Goals for the Learners

  • Young learners from two continents are getting to know each other.
  • They discover the differences and the similarities of their cultures and lifestyles.
  • They develop strategies to overcome linguistic and cultural barriers.
  • They network and make new friends.

Technology and media literacy

  • The pupils make first experiences with programming in a playful manner.
  • They get an understanding how code works and learn how to apply and share their knowledge.
  • They develop creative ideas as well as a consciousness of risks of the „digital revolution“.
  • Teach kids to become responsible citizens of the next society instead of being consumer only.

Outcomes for KISD design students

  • learn to work as facilitator and enabler
  • reflect the role of design in today's society
  • explore links between technology and culture
  • understand how to host workshops with the specific user group of young learners
  • enhance their skills in coding and prototyping
  • make a first step into teaching

What will we do in the workshops?

Guided by the students teams of 3-4 pupils (ideally a Cape Town/Berlin mix) will develop „tiny games“. In different "game jams" and workshops they go through a whole design process, from developing an initial idea (ideation) to prototyping and testing of their games. The students will also set up an online platform for collaboration and communication.

What tools and equipment do we use?

For creative coding we use the MIT developed tool „Scratch“ (http://scratch.mit.edu). In addition we use standart offline tools to develop sounds, pictures and materials (pencil and paper, music instruments, cameras ...)

How many pupils can participate and how often will they meet each other?

In each school at least 15 pupils will participate. At KISD, 10 Design Students will work on the project. Starting from 14th of October we will have two meetings per week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 13.30 until 15.10 (MEZ; Cape Town is one hour ahead). In Cape Town the projects ends on the 9th of December (start of the summer holidays), in Berlin two weeks later.

Project partners

St Mary’s Primary in Gardens

12 Tuin plein street

Cape Town 8001, South Africa

- Donovan Williams -


The Learning Innovation Design Lab

81, St Johns Street

Cape Town 8001, South Africa

- Michael Wolf -


Grundschule am Koppenplatz

Koppenplatz 12

10115 Berlin, Germany

- Frau Dr. Thiele -


Köln International School of Design

Cologne University of Applied Sciences

Faculty for Cultural Sciences

Ubierring 40

50678 Köln, Germany

- Prof. Muxel -

- Prof. Dr. Oliver Baron -