What makes good toys?

A lecture with JB LaBrune & Dana Gordon

25 Jan 2008
25 Jan 2008

Concluding the invigorating Hybrid Toys workshop, Jean-Baptiste Labrune and Dana Gordon gave a lecture on the integration of digital components in material objects. J-B and Dana used toys with digital components as a means to playfully explore creativity and shared their findings during this lecture.


A picture from Dorkbot, taken from Dana Gordon's Flickr pictures . -


Jean-Baptiste Labrune's defended his dissertation entitled “Children and Creative Technologies: an exaptive phenomenon”. He captured the way children document and explore creative processes and artefacts to enhance the general understanding of creative processes. His research consists of designing reflexive tools to support these activities and let children generate the creative tools of the future.

Using digital toys such as Tangicam, Telebeads and Sketchcam Labrune investigated facets of creativity by observing how children used these high-tech toys.

For more information regarding the activities and research of Jean-Baptiste, go to his blog.

Dana Gordon graduated from the masters program of Interaction Design Institute Ivrea in the summer of 2006. During the last two years, as part of her Interaction design studies, she focused on physical computing and particularly tangible interface design. She exhibited her work at the Victoria and Albert museum (‘Touch me’ exhibition 2006), and Salone del Mobile 2005 and 2006. She collaborated with companies such as Tecno and Droog Design. She later moved to Paris, where she developed new tangible design projects and consults for artistic interactive installations.

The Hybrid Toys Workshop

Prior to the Hybrid Toys workshop participants were asked to take a photograph of a toy that they either really loved or where thoroughly disappointed in, and to elaborate on this emotion. During the course of the workshop itself presentations were held on what good toys are, what physical computing is and the technical know-how related to the use of RFID tags, readers as well as sensors and Arduino's. With this acquired knowledge workshop participants were encouraged to make their own hybrid toy prototype.