Tag Archives: children

on re-focusing “fun in the kitchen”

Unfortunately, I got really discouraged and overwhelmed this weekend trying to learn too much about children, etc., and trying to come up with brilliant concepts at the same time. I think I got so concerned about everything, that I shot myself in the foot before I even started sketching concepts. I feel more invigorated now, though, because I realized that all the research I’ve done is useful and that I do not have to stick with the three appliances I originally chose. After class today I’m going to go wander around Wal-mart and/or a toy store to look at toy mechanics and see what’s currently offered in the way of basic interactive toys [levers, cranks, cogs]. I want my appliances to be toy-like, but still get the job done. I think I lost focus on one of the important parts of my original brand concept – healthy food and nutrition.
So what other appliances or “tools” can relate to fresh produce, whole grains, and calcium? Apple and carrot peelers, pasta press, pudding molds, etc. I think I’ll stick with the ice cream maker, because who doesn’t like ice cream? Besides that, there are a lot more foods within the broad, important categories that I can focus on than the simple “fruit for smoothies” and “whole grains from fresh bread.”

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on concept claustrophobia

I originally decided to focus on designing kitchen appliances for children because it’s something that I’ve never tried before (and I thought it would be SO FUN!), but I’m realizing now that maybe the reason I never did anything for children is because I honestly don’t know that much about them. In high school I loved babysitting, and I still do, but that doesn’t mean that I know a ton about children. Luckily, I found an age-placement chart that tells me what grade children belong in according to their age; I never really knew that because I jumped around between grades a little bit from moving around, and I’m half a year younger than everyone in my current year.
Children change so much; the amount of development in a year or two is crazy [according to the cognitive development research I’ve done]! It’s sort of frustrating for me to try and define such a very small population of children for which to design – i.e. only ages 6-9 – because I don’t want to be responsible for sending crap out into the world that people will only purchase and use for three years before simply throwing it out (or in my family’s case, probably just keep it in our basement until said child goes to college, and still wants to keep it because of “all the memories!”). I guess I’m just feeling a little claustrophobic about the corner I’ve put myself in; but I don’t want to try and change my direction now that I’ve done so much research! David mentioned something along the lines of “Remember you’re just a student, and in real life a company would come to you and ASK for you to do something like this so don’t try and constrain yourself with sustainability, too.” In that case, I’m just going to try and re-group around my own ideas and ensure that what I end up creating is THE PERFECT three appliances for 6-9 year olds; three appliances so strong and spot on that it doesn’t matter as much that they’re not technically sustainable. Good luck to me! Haha.

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on grub spiced with paprika

I decided [as a designer! a firm design decision! hooray!] to create two separate brand concepts for the first step of this project because I didn’t want to combine the two ideas I had and muddle it into one complicated, hard-to-achieve goal. I even played around with different branding logos! Tough part now is to choose which one I want to do. I’m excited to get to work on this project; I’ve never done anything for children and I think that it would be an interesting departure from my usual “universal design, with dual-functionality focus” and/or pebbles. Something challenging and different sounds like a wonderful change of pace.
Not to mention this project makes me hungry!!

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