Nº 259


IG Portfolio

Toy Design 2020. Toymaker of the future


IG Portfolio



IG Portfolio is a platform with projects carried out within the degree course Interaction Design at the University of Design Schwäbisch Gmünd. It arose from the IG Wiki that, as a collaboration and communication platform, had been a repository for term and theses projects since 2008. Ever since the inception of the platform, students have been inputting their work and so today it contains some 400 items from the various semesters and subjects. These represent a major knowledge base which will now be highlighted more strongly. The students Nikolas Klein and Michael Baisch, together with professor Jens Döring, have reworked the IG Wiki in conceptual terms and given it a new design, thus creating IG Portfolio. The projects are uploaded to the new website together with still images, video material and a brief text by the students themselves. They are linked together by data relating to the semester, the relevant course, the students and tutors. Nikolas Klein and Michael Baisch will continue to maintain the IG Portfolio and they have a long list of functionalities and small improvements which they aim to gradually incorporate in the platform, including an English version of the website. For the future, however, they are seeking enthusiasts and students from younger semesters who can take over the project in the course of time.


Toy Design 2020. Toymaker of the future






The Spielwarenmesse, the world’s biggest toy fair, was held once again in Nuremberg at the beginning of the year. In the contest for upcoming designers, Toy Design 2020, organised jointly by the fair and the Wooden Toys specialist group, awards for “Toy of the Future” designs were bestowed on Angela Corrado (USA), Lena Mühl (Germany) and Wanhyun Ko (South Korea). The first prize went to Angela Corrado who developed the Imagine Fort construction set as part of her Industrial Design studies at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Using her set of sticks and connecting elements, children can build castles, caves, playgrounds and much more. She drew inspiration from her own childhood during which she built her own spaces and structures from cushions, blankets and furniture items that she gathered together in her parents’ home. With Imagine Fort she aims to create an experience that will entertain children but also teach them things at the same time. She is currently finalising the design and will also present it at the New York Design Week in May 2015.

Lena Mühl’s spinning top Musil was created at the Burg Giebichenstein University of Art and Design Halle. It combines two classic toys, the humming top and the peg toy, united by the concept of additive colour mixing. When the toy is spun the primary colours red, green and blue combine optically to form cyan, magenta and yellow. Small plates colour-painted on both sides can be inserted in any order into the disc of the spinning top. The effect of the colour mixing then reveals itself when the disc is set in rotation using a humming-top mechanism. The disc has six through-holes in which the colour plates are inserted so that they don’t fly out when the disc rotates fast. Musil is a suitable toy for young children but can also be used as demonstration material for the teaching of physics or colour theory. The disc and the six small plates are milled from beech wood, the steel elements of the humming-top mechanism are contained within the wooden rod, while the individual elements are connected with metal and wood dowels.

The Zoo Mix system by Wanhyun Ko consists of three different variants: a monkey, an elephant and a sheep. The individual parts of the animals can be assembled and disassembled with a rubber band. When the rubber band is stretched apart one can pull it through the gaps and when one lets go of it the balls that serve as the animal’s joints snap into the corresponding hollows. All the construction elements function in the same way and can be connected to the main bodies in many ways. This enables children to create both familiar animals as well as new fantasy creatures and objects. In terms of motor skills it is challenging for children to guide the individual elements into the joints with the stretched rubber band, for example working against the tension. Some children may require help at first, and the sequence of the individual construction steps or the exact positioning need to be learned as well. Wanhyun Ko would like to extend the project and develop more animals.


We report on the design processes of the three winners online at form.de/dossiers






Over the last 25 years major changes have taken place in the fields of archaeology and cultural heritage. Moreover, both disciplines are being affected strongly by the economic crisis. The longterm project Nearch (New Scenarios for a Community-Involved Archaeology) has been set up to investigate various possibilities and to propose new paths for contemporary archaeology. This Europe-wide cooperation network of 14 partners from ten countries will be headed by the French Inrap Institute (Institut national de recherches archéologiques préventives) until 2018. Various groups are working on five main themes. The Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht is the only art or design institute among the partners, which also include established archaeological faculties and institutes such as the Oxford University, the University of Leiden and the German Archaeological Institute. In collaboration with the other institutions they are researching the common elements contained in the working methods of archaeologists and artists. The main theme “The Materiality of the Invisible” centres on the idea that everything visible expresses something invisible – a photograph, a house, a fragment, a day in someone’s life, a work of art or a car on the street – and equally that everything of a material nature expresses something immaterial – a ruin, a ray of light, a film, a church. The goal of the project is to develop new forms of knowledge transfer between artists and archaeologists.


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