Educating children about environment and sustainability through toys:ADW 2.0

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Discussions, Insights on Sustainable Toy Design, Nurturing Spaces for Children – among key highlights on Day-5 of ADW 2.0

With several speaker sessions, workshops, a virtual exhibition and more, second edition of Ahmedabad Design Week concludes

With a potpourri of ideas, fascinating insights on design thinking and current trends in the world of design and toys, manufacturing and packaging world over, a bunch of power-packed sessions of the second edition of the annual design confluence called Ahmedabad Design Week (ADW) came to a fruitful conclusion on Sunday. The five-day design confluence with the theme on ‘Toy’ing With Design’ was organised by UnitedWorld Institute of Design (UID) – affiliated with Karnavati University and iHub – a Government of Gujarat initiative.

The fifth day of ADW 2.0 began with a speaker session on ‘Toys that grow with a child’, which was conducted by eminent toy designer and TEDx speaker, Ms Suhasini Paul.

NID alumnus, Suhasini, who is a recipient of Designpreneur Award and has designed toys for brands of repute such as Kinder Joy, Disney, Ape and Chota Bheem, spoke about educating children about environment and sustainability through toys.

Citing example of a wide variety of toys that designers can create to help young children learn about sustainability, Suhasini said, “While designing toys the focus is on designing for users, the toys that grow with children, toys that are sustainable. However, it is crucial to gauge the environmental impact of the toy. The toy should last long not only because many resources have gone into it but also their value and utility must remain over the years.”

“The role of toy designers should involve designing toys that growth with children, whose value and utility remain. Design a toy in a way that the kids can play for longer periods,” she further went on to say.

Suhasini also said that while innovating and coming up with better designs in toys that last, one must also try and focus on the many toy clusters in India and try and bring in innovation there.

The final day of ADW 2.0 also saw research paper and poster presentations on the theme of ‘Toying with Design’ by students and professionals from various academic institution around the country.  Online presentations were made on highly innovative and socially relevant research and development projects ranging from designing toys for children with disabilities, to designing games for children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) to educational toys for teaching Alphabets to pre-school children to name a few.

The final day also witnessed a panel discussion by the Institute of Indian Interior Designers (IIID) on Nurturing Space for Children’ and another one by industry experts on ‘To design toys for an educational and emotional frame’.

All in all, ADW 2.0 saw participation of some 50,000 students and at least 80,000 professionals. Representatives from some 18 educational institutes of repute such as NID – Ahmedabad, CEPT University and MS University in Vadodara, among others participated.

Some 100+ speakers from across the globe including countries like India, Canada, US, UK, Latvia, Italy, Germany, Austria, Finland, South Africa, Austria, Hungary and Belgium, addressed ADW 2.0 participants through 28 speaker sessions on design, manufacturing and ecosystem of toys and toy making. The design confluence also included a virtual exhibition of traditional toys in addition to 12 panel discussions and eight workshops.

Smt Anju Sharma (IAS), principal secretary – higher and technical education, along with Dr Himanshu Pandya, vice chancellor of Gujarat University; Mr Hiranmay Manhanta, CEO, iHub and Mr M Nagarajan (IAS), executive director – iHub and director, Department of Higher Education, government of Gujarat, among others were present at the valedictory ceremony of ADW 2.0, which was held on Sunday evening.

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