Workshop:From Play to Innovative Design
Prof. Makoto Watanabe
Chiba University, Japan
Prof. Jinhua Huang
Zhejiang University, China
June 2015 – August 2015
3D model development
In the design process, I led a 5-member team including students from Japan and Singapore to design a new tableware for 4-6 years old kids to make them enjoy the dinner, at the same time developing good eating habits and table manners. The tableware would provide children with collectible toy blocks when finishing dinners so that offer them game-like dinner experience based on their natural curiosity. To help children collect toy blocks, we designed a map where children could build their own city.
Firstly we interviewed 20+ families and found parents often complained that their children were easy to be distracted when having dinners.
Thus, we started to design a product for 4 to 6-year-old children to make them enjoy their dinners at home.
1) cultivate healthy eating habits
2) enjoy the meal without parents’ persuasion
1) No need to chase after kids and feed them
2) No need to lose temper and force children;
Based on development psychology theories, we found that children were interested in three kinds of things: new things which attracted their attention, collections which created by themselves, and toys which they could fully control.
Girl, 5 years old, eating dinner at home everyday
As a little girl, she is very curious, keeping interest in every new thing. She loves toys and games.
She always eats snacks before dinner, thus sometimes is unwilling to have dinner. When her parents force her to eat, she will cry loudly, because she is too young to understand the importance of balanced diet. Her mother worries about Camille’s health due to lack of good eating habits.
Once she received the LEGO as birthday gift and loved to combine different toy blocks as she wished.
After need-finding, we developed the basic concept of our product. The basic elements were rooted in the preference of children: NEW THINGS, COLLECTIONS, TOYS.
How to combine these elements? To solve the problem that children felt boring and easily abstracted, we found that, we could design assistant tools to develop new dinner experience which could enable children to enjoy their meals .
Thus, we created a new tableware for children.
During the meal, parents would put bowls on the tableware, and the gravity sensor would calculate the weight of the blow. While children eat, the weight should reduce gradually, at the same time, the mechanical system would rise up toys. By finishing every meal, children could gain 3 different toys. (parents could put new ones inside the tableware before dinner)
We also designed a big toy map thus children can create their own city by collecting toys given during meals.
It is convincing that this mechanism would help children build motivation to enjoy meals and develop healthy diet, additionally help them to cultivate perseverance, creation and responsibility
PRODUCT MODEL & PROTOTYPE