Work-in-progress: Children's Electronics Kit
My first year major project came in three flavours, Industrial Design, Interaction Design and Transportation Design. Having picked the interaction brief, it very quickly occurred to me that despite having built a headphone amplifier, my knowledge of electronics was poor, as I just follow instructions, and want to get to the end product as fast as possible, without understanding it.
Research led me to the conclusion that many school-taught subjects have childhood experiences related to them. An architect might have been obsessed with LEGO® (me), a biologist might have enjoyed playing with worms. But how do children come into contact with electronics?
In this day and age, kids are born with iPod Touches in their hands, so you might think that is the connection? The games they will play will, more likely, turn them into app or game designers.
Despite living in an increasingly digital world, the first time most children will come into contact with electronics is at school. The way in which it is taught bares no relation to the apps they play with, or the remote control cars they race with.
So my project is about getting kids to take an interest in electronics without the fear of the theory and the dangers of soldering.
It combines the fun, stackable aspect of LEGO®, with the first Key Stage 2 electricity lessons. The prototype is nearly complete, and I'm just deciding what graphics will go on the cubes.
For the final product, I'd like to reference Scandinavian wood toys, by using walnut cubes, with turned brass connectors, however, for now I'm using foam.