Research & Development
RISD Thesis 2020
StormForms is a modular play system designed to encourage curiosity, allow children to be messy and experiment, learn from others, learn to fail iteratively, face rejection, and try again
This project aims to respond to the question, how can children practice entrepreneurial thought and action, build empathy, and learn to problem solve through play?
Through my interviews and additional research, I found that a common thread among those who have achieved entrepreneurial success, regardless of gender, is that at a young age they were practicing activities that got them comfortable with being uncomfortable. They had opportunities to be curious and messy, fail, face rejection, and try again. Therefore, I came up with the following objectives for this project:
1. Provide opportunities for children to practice entrepreneurial thought and action (ETA)
2. Approach ETA through play
3. Engage children in building empathy and problem-solving through actively looking at other perspectives.
4. Emphasize an equal playing field by designing solutions that involve everyone, regardless of gender
Each student’s kit comes with large quantities of select modules in a specific color and texture, with teasers of the other modules with different colors and textures. Children get to play and explore within their own forms, but the differences in each student’s kit is meant to seed a marketplace behavior within the classroom. Through observation of their peers’s forms as well as playing with the teaser modules, they can barter and negotiate with other children to earn and curate their collection of modules.
Through StormForms, children have the opportunity to be curious and messy, face rejection through the marketplace and learn to persist, hopefully encouraging them to take risks, innovate, and be resilient in the future
Children can trade and barter their pieces to curate their collection of modules, having their “transactions” officially recorded on this virtual marketplace, as well as “formstorming” construction ideas in the app with unlimited virtual forms
Kids also have the ability to publish their constructions on the app and create their own custom forms. The StormForm CAD files will be publicly available to these kids for them to alter and customize for themselves
Through unusual modular forms that elicit curiosity and formal exploration, children are encouraged to build their own characters, toys and structures.