The theme for the next project is designing specifically for children. You will need to start this project by researching designers working in the field of children’s products, furniture, toys and educational items. It not advised to produce primary research for this project by photographing any children that you do not know or have agreed to photograph by their parents or guardians: There is no law against taking photographs of other people's children, provided you do not harass or harm them, however it is strongly advised that you do not do this by your tutors and the college. Although for non-commercial use it is fine to take photographs, as long as the pictures are decent, there may be bylaws that prevent photography. If there are bylaws in place than you will need to seek prior permission from the authorities. You would need permission if you were shooting commercially which would include publishing the pictures on any online resource. Some of you may have access to researching children, possibly siblings, relatives or family friends through photography or sketching over the Christmas break, this is fine as long as you have the permission of the parent or carer. We recommend that you show this photographic research in your sketchbooks and not online on Workflow.
In our culture childhood is precious. It is prized as a rare time of carefree play, joyful learning and stress free enjoyment. The Victorians established the idea that children needed specialist products, their own fashions and they established a lucrative market that still thrives today. In 2016, the Telegraph reported that the cost of raising a child up to the age of 21 in the UK was over £230,000. This includes money spent on hobbies, toys and furniture. For this project you will need to research the ever growing market of children’s products, you will also need to employ memories of your own early life as you develop your designs for children. Possible starting points to consider could be: imaginative play, learning, growing, eating or sleeping. There are also many other important aspects to consider when designing for such a specific audience, important issues to consider should be: the age of user, developmental milestones, safety and choice of materials. As the buying power generally comes from adults, parents or carers it is important that the product has both parent and child appeal.
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