Sunlight Play

Sunlight Play is set of tools for play based exploration of light, shadow, color, movement, scale, and story telling. The main tool is a fully articulable point light source powered by a rechargeable battery with a solar panel embedded in the base. Along with the light, Sunlight Play comes with articulable mirrors, and a range of materials that cast interesting shadows, bend light, and make colored shadows.

The set of tools and materials was designed for settings where electrical infrastructure is not prioritized for child’s play or missing entirely, specifically UNICEF’s refugee learning centers and the BRAC play labs. Sunlight Play facilitates explorative play with no wrong answers. It positions light as material with which to be creative, situating the child as a competent user of the medium and developing creative confidence.

The prototypes were made using the little sun lamps designed by Olafur Eliasson.

Sunlight Play builds on heavily the Tinkering Studio and Loris Malaguzzi Center in Reggio Emilia‘s work on light and shadow play.

Sunlight Play was developed over the course of several months in the fall of 2019 and winter 2020. Before the tools could be pilot tested, the COVID-19 pandemic stalled the project, eventually being completely shelved when I left the LEGO Foundation in June of that year.
Pablo Pedrosa, then a masters student at Designschool Kolding, supported the project.


Sunlight Play light
Articulable mirrors
Sample materials