Toy design as a tool
The aim of this paper is to report the results of the undergraduate project course Toy Design for Creative Play (Mälardalen University, Sweden) based on human-centred design. It can be described as a design course where different academic disciplines and, consequently, different scholarly traditions meet. From an explicitly expressed gender perspective, the students were assigned the task of creating toy models that will stimulate non-gender-coded play. They worked in project groups, where the students’ specific competences are applied, e.g. engineering technology, pedagogy and information design. This means that the students are confronted with issues related to technology, problem solving, gender and play. The course also aimed to build knowledge about how gender is constructed by means of play, and how this is supported by toys. The course deals with various theoretical as well as practical attributes of toys. The results of the course show that this course design can function as a successful tool for dealing with such issues as gender technology, creativity and learning processes.