Their Play: Multi-families Robby Zhang Chen
and Character Building Play Sets
Play is important to optimal child development. And toys are the most common instruments for children to play. Toys allow children to discover the world they live in, providing plenty of enjoyment and happiness, which help build their motor skills,emotional development, cognitive development and self-esteem. As society is developing, we discover more possibilities about gender identities, family structures etc. And now we know gender is not only limited to binary any more, it exists on a wide spectrum. At the same time, children around 4 years old start to have strong senses about their gender identities, so Zhang wants to design a toy that can help children to be gender-creative, exploring the possibilities of gender identities.
Zhang designs a toy called STICKIEZ. It is a family and character building play sets. Children can build up their own characters, customizing and decorating them into whatever they like with provided themed clothes and make-up stickers.They can build up a figure with multi-gender at the same time. It is up to them to decide what gender they want their characters to be.
Additionally, there are more than just one way of playing STICKIEZ. Children can stack the figures all together as blocks, or they can create different characters at one time to have a family pretend play. Also, children can stick the stickers on themselves to have dress up play.
STICKIEZ offers a good opportunity for them to understand gender and family types are existing on a wide spectrum.
Zhang Chen is an industrial designer who is from Shenzhen, China and currently residing in Brooklyn, New York. He received his Master's Degree in Industrial Design from Pratt Institute. He has experiences in product design, exhibition design and graphic design. As a designer, he is passionate about creating amusing experiences between users and products, seeking inventive design solutions to advance dynamic user-product relationships. He also explores his artistic side in ceramics. Zhang hopes his design can deliver pleasantness to the world.