Prototyping Form, Fall 2016, Instructor: Ayako Takase, Group Members: Dominique Kraatz, Daniel Choi
4-Hour Design Challenge: Children's Ride-On (2016)
Prompt: In four hours, design and create a ride-on for children. Your design must be functional, as children will come to test your design once your time is up.
Our group decided to build a rocker for 3-5 year-olds. We wanted to build a ride-on with an abstract form in order for the children to be able to use the toy freely according to their own playing styles. Due to the abstract form, we added semiotic cues such as handles and a suggested backrest so that the children would naturally know how to sit on the toy. We settled on the design below, which featured a tapered structure to prevent tipping of the ride-on. Prior to building the toy, we researched proportions of children's bodies and settled on making the seat 15 inches off the ground and four inches wide. To create an effective and safe rocker, we made the base 36 inches long.
To create a durable structure, we decided to create sectional supports to distribute the weight of the child across the toy.
We created a quick bill of materials so that we could maximize our efficiency and manufacture parts of the ride-on simultaneously.
Below is our final model. We used plywood for the main structure and bendy ply for the base.
Children ages 2-6 came to test our rocker. The height was effective for the four-year-olds and six-year-old, as they were able to gain momentum by pushing off the ground with their legs.