How it all started

Hi, I'm Lili de Larratea, a design strategist based in London, UK. I launched Play Rethink© in 2007 after completing an MA in Sustainable Design. 

Back in 2004, during my time pursuing a masters degree, I had an aha moment and I decided it was time for a shake up in education. I grew weary of the conventional, one-sided approach to education where teachers simply poured knowledge into students. I wanted something more dynamic where students could truly connect to what they were learning, tap into their inner creativity and be inspired to actively make the world around them a better place. So, I set out to make learning a more immersive, peer-driven experience, with sustainability at its core. My goal? To infuse sustainability into design education, making it not just informative but also collaborative, engaging and hands-on.

I then teamed up with a new non-profit organisation helping spotlight, through events and exhibitions, emerging eco-designers eager to make a difference. A year later, I exhibited the first version of what later became Play Rethink© at the London Design Festival. It consisted of a temporary immersive installation inviting participants to engage through play and redesign everyday objects in more eco-conscious ways. 

The response was incredible. Teachers and lecturers praised the concept, prompting me to transform it into a tool for classrooms. In 2007, Play Rethink© officially launched. With the backing of a supportive family friend, I produced 500 units, set up a website, and started selling online.

From there, I marketed Play Rethink© at market stalls, museum shops like London's Tate Modern, and sold copies to Fortune 500 companies. I led workshops in schools and universities, and soon found myself facilitating sessions for design and business professionals in different countries – in Sao Paulo, Rio, Vienna, Milan, Barcelona, NL and UK, adapting it for Spanish, Portuguese, and Korean audiences along the way.

Fast forward to 2024 and, for the second part of this journey, I'm focusing on taking everything I've learnt to transform Play Rethink© into a tool that can be adapted by teachers in schools in developing countries. 

Watch this space and get in touch if you'd like to find out more.

Earlier version (2005)

Workshop in UFRJ, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil (2009)