Power of Play Workshop

This post was written by Giacomo Sartorelli BArch 19 and originally appeared on our.risd.edu.

Students from nearly every department at RISD as well as neighboring colleges and universities took over the ID Building on Saturday, October 6 for Power of Play, a full-day make-a-thon exploring ways to incorporate risk and unstructured play into the practice of making.

Organized by RISD’s student chapter of the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA), the workshop featured such visiting mentors as Andrew Stewart 16 ID of IDEO and Stefania Druga of the MIT Media Lab. Participants divided up into teams to rapidly prototype educational tools, toys and board games for kids.

One group designed an inflatable toy, another an educational board game about US politics and a third a card game called Exposed intended to teach children about anatomy, body autonomy and the importance of consent among sexual partners.

“Some of these topics are outside the norm for children’s toys,” noted Exposed team member Raina Wellman 19 GD, “but we think the game can address an educational gap among adolescents in the US.”

The workshop afforded plenty of opportunities for learning and fun as well as Knead donuts and a delicious lunch from local noodle house Denden Café Asiana. 

The make-a-thon ended with each team pitching its product to a panel of judges and then gathering for an awards ceremony in which Wellman’s team—which also included Raymond Lin 20 ID, Tommy O’Halleran 20 ID, Ke Shang 22 EFS and Brown student Krystal Sarcone—took home the grand prize: preliminary funding to further develop their idea.

Maureen Buttenheim