Shadowgram, named from Shadowgraph of Tangram, is an interactive toy, aiming to revive one of Chinese ancient toys, tangram, by combining it with modern interactive technology.
Graduation Design ZJUT, Hangzhou Apr-May, 2017
Keywords: Toy, Tangram, Shadow Puppetry
Number & Role: One, all except animation design
Direction: Interdisciplinary, HCI, Toy Innovation
As times develops rapidly, toys become increasingly modernized, the ancient toys, just like the abandoned aged, were quickly tired of by picky children. However, some ancient toys are brainchild of wise ancients, and they should be inherited.
Tangram is an ancient Chinese toy, consisting of seven flat shapes, which can be put together to form characters. According to the record, tangram can form over 1600 shapes. Tangram can not only serve as a playful toy but also an educational tool.
When I talked with parents in the toyshop, almost all of them don’t buy tangram for their kids, who consider tangram is boring. Besides, almost all of their kids are passionated about playing games in iPad.
How can we save this endangered traditional toys?
Can we make a renaissance of ancient toys?
How will it be if combine tangram with emerging technology?
how will the toy industry develop?
We find three key points:
· In Chinese market, the value of market increase yearly and might reach 11.225 billion dollars in 2017. -Data from CBNData
· In the US market, the sales of game and puzzle toy items grew the fast in all categories in Sept. 2016. -Data from NPD Group
· Among the world, Interactive Toys market has gradually formed and become more and more popular. -Report from Qdaily
“Parents play smartphone and have no communication with children when they are playing toys” -From Observation
“The best-selling toys are Lego, Hasbro, and electronic interactive toys.” -From Interview with seller of toyshop, Toys "R" Us
Why are Interactive Toys so hot?
How to match specific toys with different children?
Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget divides the mental development of children into four different stages.
Finally define the target users as preschool child, kids between 3-6 years old, because they are in the Pre-operational Stage, a critical phase for children growth to develop diverse physical and psychological abilities. It is exactly what Tangram can help.
Challenge of Tangram Redesign
Concept Mind Map
Inspiration: Inspired from Shadow Puppetry, which is called the early form of animation and film, is also a kind of traditional culture in China, and noticed children love to play with shadows, I decided to combine shadow interaction with tangram to create a unique interaction experience.
Final Concept: A projector that can recognize the figures of tangram and then project them as interactive image
Animation Design: Design three (Crane, Tree, Wizard) of diverse characters formed by Tangram.
Animation Design 丨 Wizard
Animation Design 丨 Crane
Animation Design 丨 Tree