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Unscripted Actions: Designing for Product Interaction through a Preschool Play System (2008)

Directed by Novem Mason. 134 pp. 


In regards to objects designed for children, trends of the moment continue to highly influence the market. These design trends, however, do not often reflect a true understanding of the child as a user. Research shows that versatility, multi-use and ability to function for the growing child are fundamental in designing products for preschool-age children. To achieve these attributes, designers should turn away from designs that are too specific and instead provide varied, abstract forms that would give children more autonomy in their creative play.

This thesis develops and evaluates a play system design for preschool-age children using the concept of interaction as its foundation. Areas of supporting literature include interactive design theory and practice, play, child development, and qualitative research methods as it relates to study with children. The play system, created through a generative design process, is validated through case-study observations and professional assessments. Results, from this thesis investigation, reveal that the play system design 
succeeds in promoting different areas of child development. Findings from the analysis also illustrate the potential benefits of interaction between a product and its user.

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College of Arts and Sciences
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