Next Generation Play

Play for a Digital Age


by designing positive experiences with technology


We all can get so absorbed into screens, especially kids. Yet, what if we could design with a lasting purpose to move kids from consumption to creation?



This research project was first started with a large Swiss technology company. I was one of three Product & UX designers that went to Switzerland for a month to help. Our goal was to engage kids with positive experiences with technological for #timewellspent.

The Swiss company didn’t move forward with the project, but Handmade still believed in it. And so we made it our own. We looked into current trends, and researched the impact of smart devices on kids.

We saw big opportunity in open-ended play (playing without specific goals). Child psychology tells of the importance of open-ended play. It’s here that kids can process their own emotions and experiences in healthy ways.





Building Toys — A LEGO approach to play in programming
Building Play — A hero toy to encourage open-ended play

Kids’ Toy Product Concept



Principal Product Designer

Concept Design, UX, Art Direction, Writing, Film Direction & Production

Swiss Work


Week 1: Brainstorm lots of product concepts
Weeks 2-4: Each week, design to one concept, and produce a prototype to test on each Friday with kids.

Swiss Work



I begin my work in tangible expressions. Some people have a temptation to jump straight into computer work. I like to get away from the computer when I think and brainstorm. There’s something special about literally putting pen to paper to form new ideas.

Building Toys

A concept for kids who like to make things

“Curio” was a concept we created that taught basics in programming. In a way, it’s a tangible version of If This Then That (IFTTT). It’s Lego Technic meets Mr. Potato Head. Start by putting on either an input or output “widget”. Each widget has a personal characterization to look like eyes, mouths and other things. Keep adding more for surprising results.

Building Play

A concept for every  kid

The concept of “Shapie McShapes” moves away from the engineering toy perspective to simplify the play experience. There is one hero device that can be used in multiple ways. The idea was that we could still use a smart screen to set parameters for each “Shapie”, but the fun would happen offscreen.

Product Teaser

After designing the foundational elements, we created a video which was presented to companies interested in pursuing this product. Below is the teaser.

My responsibilities with this video:

  • Script-writing
  • Directing & camera
  • Production & editing.
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