A kids' upcycling kit to be creative with everyday materials found in the recycling or destined for the landfill.
role: industrial designer, design researcher, fabrication, brand designer     duration: 32 weeks    type: senior thesis
key questions
insights from parents
They are definitely drawn to more open ended creative, imaginative toys, like Legos or pretend play toys.

The life span of a toy is definitely top on the list.

We teach them not to be wasteful, in terms of  single use things and what can be recycled or reused.
project intention
Introducing sustainable habits, while simultaneously sparking creativity through play.

My goal is to design an open-ended toy that promotes material resourcefulness and inspires children to create their own toys, ultimately reducing their desire for single-use toys. 
Makedo observations

re-uses cardboard; material that would normal be recycled  
sparks creativity; allows children to build anything they want
endless of uses and possibilities

only for cardboard; want to expand to plastics, styrofoam, fabric, etc.
needs a lot of adult help with cutting and designing;  want to create without as much altering
the example expectations seem unreasonable, children might be disappointed with their results.
Fasteners & Connectors 
initial concepts
initial prototypes
"love how open-ended and the possibilities that can be made"
"looks difficult for children to cut and design these, will It come with an instruction manual"
"shape looks flower-like, maybe making more gender-neutral"
"really like the mechanism, super easy to use"


really liked the concept of using materials that are found in the trash/recycling
loved how easy the fasteners worked, didn’t think other complicated fasteners were needed, ie. hinges, screws
4+ sets gave the user an already pre-assembled piece, so that younger kids didn’t need to build as much
brought up points about trying to make this as kid friendly as possible, less cutting/altering and more using already existing pieces.

moving forward
designing a new fastener that connects material without that much altering
starting to create toys out of existing shapes and different materials (cardboard, plastic, paper, etc.)
creating the packaging, booklet and exhibition
Had such a fun time designing and executing my senior capstone exhibit. SPROUT! was on showcased for a week at RIT's University Gallery, received many compliments and offers to purchase!   

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