Designers & Companies


Emma Ribbens is the founder of Nomadlab a design research project of that has been developed as graduation project of the Master Product Design at LUCA School of Arts in Genk.



In this research project she explores how refugees children can be strengthen through play. The research  is translated into open source play objects. Hereby is field research crucial for the development of the project and the play objects. To understand the circumstance where this children grew up in Emma went to refugees camp in France (Dunkirk), Greece (Lesbos), Libanon (Beirut) and to asylumncentres in Netherlands (Rotterdam) and Turkey (Istanbul).

The project is called Nomadlab. Lab is the central word, which demonstrates that it is an experimental space where children can discover, explore and play. But the special thing about the lab is that it is a nomadic space that can be set up everywhere where it’s needed.


Nüdel kart

60 X 160 X 60 cm

Allowing refugee children to play

A project of an entirely different nature… in collaboration with Playground Ideas. As part of her studies in social design, Emma Ribbens has carried out lengthy field work in refugee camps and centres in France, the Netherlands, Greece, Turkey and Lebanon. At the heart of her project is her observation that nothing is put in place for children to play. However, playing is essential to their well-being and development. In collaboration with charities, she has sought to understand the barriers that prevent playing… in order to contribute a “design solution”. This gave way to a mobile cart that can go to play with children wherever they live. The object can house all sorts of devices that can stimulate creativity and interaction. Children can adapt it and gather around it. Designed as open source, the cart can be made easily (in a fablab or workshop) by any person or field organisation also wishing to use it.