We loved some of the product design concepts on display at New Designers aimed at child development and social interaction.
Terry Stokes, an Industrial Design Graduate from Brunel University had a couple of projects on display. Terry says his littlepal design is aimed at ‘reducing stress during children’s injections through the use of visual, tactile and sonic distraction’. The cleverly disguised needle is accompanied with a moulded plastic tray and educational packaging to encourage child interaction. Also on display was his Sensio design, a solution to a Future Design Concept project for Crayola, using haptic feedback by using pressure sensors within the pens.
Also working on the Crayola project was fellow Brunel graduate Ben Davey. His solution was to create Oris, a camera device able to record child development. Ben says he wanted to ‘maintain the tradition of the Crayola brand by keeping the good old fashioned wax crayons whilst launching Crayola into the future, allowing children to “share their potential”.
Ross Dudley was also ‘keen to capture the adventure’ by sharing child development with parents and relatives with his ‘Playpal’ design. A bendable camera is inserted into the cuddly toy and then can be clipped onto most surfaces so still photos can be taken at various intervals of the child at play. The concept is also fitted with a movement detector sensor and embedded software. Ross feels it is important to improve family interaction during the key childhood years and give parents a greater opportunity to fully engage with their child’s progress.
Richard Mannian from Sheffield Hallum University has come up with a playful educational toy, using renewable energy and sustainable materials such as bioplastic resin made from corn, wheat, potato and tapioca starches as opposed to oil. Richard’s Sustainabots design encourages the child to experience how energy is generated and transferred through play.
A Creative Product Design graduate from UWE Bristol, Christine McFadden has come up with the board game, ‘Foster Life’ aimed at people who are interested in fostering a child. Christine drew her initial inspiration from her parents’ experiences of contemplating fostering, but being faced with very complex issues. Her aim was to come up with a solution which would aid the process and assist in the skills that might be required to foster a child. Christine says that the game takes players on a journey ‘through each stage of the application process from initial enquiry to the final panel meeting’, therefore giving prospective foster parents an insight into the process prior to application.
Martin Charlier recently won the RSA Design Directions Body and Mind Award for his Barsenberg immuniToys Project. A graduate from Ravensbourne, Martin created the three concepts which were on display at this year’s New Designers. The project explores ‘the areas of civilisation illness’ (such as asthma and allergies) and the ‘Hygiene Hypothesis’. His intention was to encourage discussion in response to the ‘implications of over-sanitation, urbanisation, digitalisation as well as research insights from the field of evolutionary medicine’. Martin uses familiar forms to further enhance how this concept can be tested.
ARTS THREAD loved the work of Plymouth University Product Design graduate Georgina Wilson. Noshies is an exciting new collection of kitchen utensils aimed at two to five year olds, designed to help promote healthy eating and participation in the preparation of fruit and vegetables. Through her research Georgina discovered that if a child helps to prepare a meal they are more likely to eat it. The set is made up of a peeler, a masher, a grater and a mixing device.
Equally as exciting is her ‘Mr. Squeeze’ set, designed to make a child’s experience of brushing teeth much more entertaining. The different shapes to each nozzle allow the toothpaste to be squeezed out of the decorative tubes creating different patterns.
Terry Stokes: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ross Dudley: email@example.com
Richard Mannian: firstname.lastname@example.org
Christine McFadden: email@example.com
Georgina Wilson: firstname.lastname@example.org