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Creating Playful Spaces

The Dark Would enabled us to experiment with environments that foster playfulness and creativity. Now we'd like to invite you to create your own playful spaces.

In the autumn the floor might be thickly carpeted with leaves, inviting rambunctious games and flurries of noise and mess.

A space that arises with difficulty and out of tension might ask visitors to play in the shadows and the gloom.

At other times the space unfurls unexpected tendrils into our meeting rooms as well as our classrooms.

Visitors to The Dark Would have carried the spores of inspiration away with them, and so new playful spaces have begun springing up all over campus.

If you have a seedling of an idea that you'd like to nourish by making use of the components of The Dark Would, complete the form below and we'll be in touch. Make sure you take a look at the equipment loan conditions and let us know if you need any more information.

Questions? Email us on thedarkwould at warwick dot ac dot uk

Have a look at our case studies to get some ideas, and check out our collection of short films that are inspired by The Dark Would, 'Space and Place'. All Dark Woulds are different, according to who is shaping the landscape, and who is exploring it, but we discovered that our Dark Would was shaped by a clearly defined set of aims:

  • Allow disciplinary, interdisciplinary, and transdisciplinary teaching, thinking, and learning
  • Have the flexibility to be inclusive of all creators and all types of knowledge
  • Offer visitors a space in which they have the intellectual and physical freedom to challenge, reimagine, and recreate the world around them through transformative learning experiences
  • Deconstruct and reshape accepted and traditional hierarchies of power in the classroom, enabling learners to create, develop, and share knowledge
  • Foster an approach to teaching and learning which crosses disciplinary boundaries in order to equip students with the ability to deal with uncertainty, complexity, and a changing world both within and beyond their university lives
  • Explore and embody what it means to engage as a whole, integrated person within teaching and learning environments.

Want to have a go at creating your own Dark Would? Complete the form below and we'll be in touch.

I have read and agree to the equipment loan conditions: (required)
Privacy notice
This form will be used to manage requests for the equipment. Your use of the equipment will be recorded and associated with your name, and we may contact you very rarely with The Dark Would updates. We would like to feature your use of the equipment on our webpages, for which we will ask permission once you have returned the equipment.

The University of Warwick is the Data Controller of any information you have entered on this form and is committed to protecting the rights of individuals in line with Data Protection Legislation. The University's Data Protection webpages provide further information on your rights and how the University processes personal data. If you wish to submit a data subjects rights request, make a complaint or report a suspected personal data breach, please contact the University’s Data Protection Officer by email at

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What is the background of the project?

The Dark Would is a collaborative and transdisciplinary teaching and learning project founded and developed by people working in roles as students, administrators and teachers. It was established in May 2014 and is based at the Institute for Advanced Teaching and Learning (IATL) at the University of Warwick.

What actually is The Dark Would?

The Dark Would project is embodied as a physical installation which was created to allow experimentation with creating transformative spaces which challenge traditional forms of teaching and learning.

The Dark Would has been used to enrich undergraduate and postgraduate Open Days and at the Festival of Imagination at the University of Warwick. It was also presented at the National Coordinating Centre for Public Engagement (NCCPE) conference in December 2014. In October 2015 The Dark Would featured in the Times Higher Education magazine.

For further information about The Dark Would and the ways it has been used why not peruse its resume(PDF Document) and covering letter(PDF Document).

How can I get involved?

Create your own Dark Would and let us know how it develops! Request the use of our equipment using this form.