A Teaching Toy: Free Forms in an Abstract Landscape


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Virginia Tech


As a young student, I enjoyed a passion for the studio arts and an interest in art history. I ardently pursued these areas in college, continuing their exploration in graduate school in the field of Industrial Design. For the thesis project, my objective is to foster in children an appreciation for art and, possibly, to help them develop a critical and appreciative eye toward their environment. In my research, I find inspiration in child psychology and the toys of child's play, in 15th-century Islamic art and 20th-century Abstraction, and in naturally occurring events such as ivy twisting up a knotty tree trunk and soft ripples in a pond.

The assimilation of these elements, together with the ideas that they generate, evolve into the foundation for my project. My intent is to design a toy which provides children ages six to twelve years with insight into both the world of nature and the realm of art. Further, the toy will heighten each child's visual vocabulary to acknowledge the organic, natural line that exists in nature and which is, perhaps, represented in abstract art. These goals are the guiding principles for my work.



toy, Design, art