copyright University of Minnesota,
all rights reserved, 2015

Toy Product Design - PDES 3711/5711

Instructor: Barry Kudrowitz, PhD, barryk [at] umn.edu, 37 Rapson
Class TAs -Kenya Mejia (mejia058) and Krystianna Johnson (joh09014)
Media TA - Joey Ivers (ivers503)

2017 Lab Instructors

Alexandra Eninsche, enins001 [at] umn.edu, (TPD 2015)
Audrey San Diego, sandi050 [at] umn.edu (TPD 2016)
Bobby Brown, brow1740 [at] umn.edu (TPD 2015)
Caitlin Dippo, dipp0008 [at] umn.edu (TPD 2013)
Claudia Dubé, dubex019 [at] umn.edu (TPD 2015)
David Angel, emaildavidangel [at] gmail.com
Dave Evenski, dave.evenski [at] gmail.com
David Brajkovic, brajk001 [at] umn.edu (TPD 2012)
Ellen Hughes, hughes.ellenk [at] gmail.com (TPD 2015)
Ethan Brownell, brow3885 [at] umn.edu (TPD 2015)
Grace Twedt, gctwedt [at] gmail.com
Ingrid Carroll, carro448 [at] umn.edu (TPD 2016)
Joseph Haynes, hayne171 [at] umn.edu (TPD 2016)
Josh Halverson, halve356 [at] umn.edu, (TPD 2015)
Karenina Gonzalez, Karenina.Gonzalez [at] target.com
Katrina Mutuc, mutuc001 [at] umn.edu (TPD 2014)
Le'Spencer Walker, le'spencer.walker [at] target.com
Liz Wolner, woln0037 [at] umn.edu (TPD 2014)
Luke Bromback, bromb010 [at] umn.edu (TPD 2016)
Max McGee, mcgee185 [at] umn.edu (TPD 2015)
Mira Meier, meier310 [at] umn.edu (TPD 2015)
Nel Pilgrim Rukavina, pilgr028 [at] umn.edu (TPD 2014)
Peyton Garcia, garci607 [at] umn.edu, (TPD 2015)
Robin Schwartzman, robinschwartzman [at] gmail.com
Rory Alt, altxx045 [at] umn.edu (TPD 2012)
Ruben D'Sa, dsaxx005 [at] umn.edu (TPD 2013)
Ryan Hedblom, hedbl016 [at] umn.edu (TPD 2016)
Sarah Alfalah, alfal003 [at] umn.edu (TPD 2015)
Sarah Prescott, presc061 [at] umn.edu (TPD 2015)
Sarah Sheber, ssheber [at] umn.edu
Taia Morley, tmred [at] mac.com
Taylor Hill, quoteradar [at] gmail.com (TPD 2011)
Tony Morley, tm [at] redracerstudio.com
Zachary Manuel, manuelondesign [at] gmail.com

Weekend Warriors ( volunteer instructors will help out in the shop some weekends throughout the semester)

Lecture: M W 6-7:30 Bruininks 114
Lab: Thursday 6-9 PM, Bruininks 114 or Rapson Courtyard
Office Hours: Thursday 1:15-3:15, Rapson 37
Credits: 4.0, A-F only

Overview . Readings/Materials . Instructors . Shop/Lab . Purchases . Play Testing . Grading . Schedule

Course Overview

Toy Product Design is an introduction to a product design process and we use toys as a medium to learn tools, techniques and methods. It is a project-centric class. Students work in small interdisciplinary teams of 6 members to design and prototype new toy concepts with the help of local industry and children. This class is also required for the product design undergraduate minor. This is a sponsored class and so the University owns the intellectual property developed in the class. This class is also required for the product design undergraduate minor and major.

Technical Elective Credit for Mechanical Engineers
 It is possible to get technical elective credit if you register for PDES 5711 instead of PDES 3711, have taken both ME 3222 and ME 3281, and petition for it before the class starts. For petition information, see Jeanne Sitzmann in the Mechanical Engineering Student Advising Office, MechE 1120.

A Portable design notebook with a robust cover like the Maker's Notebook.
An alternative with less features is the the Moleskine Plain Large Notebook.
Fineline pen and marker- to be discussed in lecture

Optional Readings (first 5 available at bookstore)
Bjarki Hallgrimsson - Prototyping and Modelmaking for Product Design
Kevin Henry - Drawing for Product Designers
Alex Milton - Research Methods for Product Design
Douglas Bryden - CAD and Rapid Prototyping for Product Design
Charles Platt - Make: Electronics

Mike Ashby - Materials and Design
Scott McCloud - Understanding Comics
Donald Norman - Emotional Design
Simon Monk - Programming Arduino
Karl Ulrich and Steven Eppinger - Product Design and Development
Michael Michalko - Thinkertoys
Kritina Holden - Universal Principles of Design
Scott McCloud - Making Comics
Donald Norman - The Design of Everyday Things
Nancy Duarte - Slide:ology
Johan Huizinga - Homo Ludens
Brian Sutton-Smith - Toys as Culture

There will be two lab instructors assigned to each team. They are the people wearing lab coats. Typically one lab instructor is a former toy product design student and the other is an industry representative. Both have experience in product design and will be a part of your team during the labs. They are all volunteers.
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The labs are taught near the shop as we believe it is best to have access to prototype facilities during your team lab time. The workshop website has a lot of helpful information including hours, tutorials, and material lists. Kevin Groenke [groen004] and Justin Kindelspire [kinde035] are two of the members of the shop staff that are familiar with the course. They will be assisting us during lab, but please keep in mind they are also supervising other students outside of this class.

Purchasing Materials
Each team will be given a starting budget for buying prototyping materials for the entire semester. This budget includes purchases made both inside (workshop store, computer lab, 3D printing) and outside the university (retail stores, online). The budget is for all prototypes made by all members of the team and so your team should make a plan on how to allocate funds. One member on each team will be responsible for managing the budget and collecting receipts. All receipts must be submitted—even if the item is returned for refund.  Receipts from purchases during the week must be submitted before the end of lab on Thursday to the TA, Kenya Mejia. Submitting receipts is crucial so we know how much budget each team has left in their accounts. Individuals that delay receipt submission are subject to grade deductions. Any online purchases that do not require immediate action should be submitted to the Toy Design 2017 Order Site to order for your team. Orders placed with the Toy Design 2017 Order Site will still deduct from your overall team budget and you should keep track of these purchases. If you are placing orders with the Toy Design 2017 Order Site, all order requests received by 3pm, Monday-Friday, will be placed the same day. Amazon orders will use 2-day shipping. You may request items to be shipped to Rapson Hall for pick up.  Purchases at the Rapson Hall shop, computer lab or ECE will be handled differently. Students will give the name and team name to the attendant and each of the individual "stores" will have the class list. These purchases will be deducted from your allocated budget. You are responsible to record those purchases on your weekly purchasing log.  It is not acceptable to use class/lab time to purchase materials off campus.  You should come prepared to labs with materials.

Play Testing
Feedback is essential to the design process and when designing for children, it is important to play test the ideas. Throughout the semester we have arranged for several play test events to present our work and get children involved in the design process. You will be responsible for bringing your prototypes.

Approximately half of the total grade is based on individual work and the other half is based on teamwork. Class and lab participation grades are based on both attendance and quality of in-class activity. This is a hands-on, team-based class and so attendance is mandatory. Tardiness will also count against the attendance grade.  Being on time is critical for the team-based nature of this class. If you are late you will be delaying your team’s progress. If you do come to class late we may require you to wear a silly hat and the class will applaud your entry. Only in certain circumstances as described in the Policies section will an absence or tardy not affect the grade. Here are some things that do not constitute an excused absence: going to hear a talk, attending an event for another class, job interviews, having a headache. If you are ill, please submit a doctor’s note so we do not count this against you. An unexcused absence for lab will result in a full grade deduction in the class. An unexcused absence for a lecture will result in a half grade deduction. Late work is not acceptable or of use to the team. This class is on a tight timeline and all assignments build on each other. Unless resulting from an excused absence, late work will not be graded. Graduate students will be graded on a higher standard than undergraduate students.  

You will be expected to put in an average of 12 hours a week outside of class time.  Weeks approaching a milestone review will require more hours than other weeks during the semester.  If you are not putting in this amount of time, you are likely putting your team at a disadvantage.

Class Participation (attendance based) Individual 15
Team/Lab Participation (split into 3 scores) Individual 15
Brainstorming Assignment Individual 5
Idea Presentation Individual 5
Individual Sketch Model Individual 5
Team Sketch Models Team 10
Final Presentation Team 15
Final Prototype Team 20
Design Notebook Individual 10

Students understand that enrollment in this course grants consent for their work to be selected for inclusion in college or departmental publications (online or in print). Your instructor may select to use your work to represent her/his skills as an instructor in a teaching portfolio (online or in print) and for research studies.

Course Schedule

Date   Class/Lab Theme
Additional Info
Jan 18 Wed Course Overview
Bruininks 114
Jan 19 Thurs Meet and Greet**
Bruininks 114
Jan 23 Mon Play
Bruininks 114
Jan 25 Wed Brainstorming and Innovation*
Bruininks 114
Jan 26 Thurs Field Trip*
Bus pickup 6pm Bruininks Hall
Jan 30 Mon Team Introduction
Bruin 114, Ideation HMWK
Feb 1 Wed Guest Insight/Benchmarking Bruininks 114
Feb 2 Thurs Team Brainstorm**
Bruininks 114
Feb 6 Mon Graphic Design and Visual Information
Bruin 114, Drawing HMWK
Feb 8 Wed Poster/Pitching Workshop (and Finances)
Bruininks 114
Feb 9 Thurs Concept Selection and Poster Design**
Bruininks 114
Feb 13 Mon Play Testing/Shop Safety Introduction
Rapson Hall Shop/Courtyard
Feb 15 Wed Play Testing/Shop Safety Introduction

Rapson Hall Shop/Courtyard

Feb 16 Thurs Idea Presentation** Bruininks 114
Feb 20 Mon Sketch Modeling (Feedback/Foam)
Bruininks 114
Feb 22 Wed Sketch Modeling (Digital Prototyping) Bruininks 114
Feb 23 Thurs Sketch Model Construction**
Rapson Hall Courtyard
Feb 27 Mon Estimation and Energy
Bruininks 114
Mar 1 Wed Sketch Model Construction*
Rapson Hall Courtyard
Mar 2 Thurs Sketch Model Construction**
Rapson Hall Courtyard
Mar 6 Mon Sketch Model Construction*
Rapson Hall Courtyard
Mar 8 Wed Sketch Model Photos and Play Testing

Rapson Hall Courtyard

Mar 9 Thurs Sketch Model Presentations**
Bruininks 114
Mar 20 Mon Product Design Aesthetic
Bruininks 114
Mar 22 Wed Concept Development *
Bruininks 114
Mar 23 Thurs Sketch Model 2.0 Construction** Rapson Hall Courtyard
Mar 27 Mon Build Day*
Rapson Hall Courtyard
Mar 29 Wed Build Day* Rapson Hall Courtyard
Mar 30 Thurs Sketch Model 2.0 Construction**
Rapson Hall Courtyard
Apr 3 Mon Design Consulting and Play Testing*
Bruininks 114/Rapson Courtyard
Apr 5 Wed Design Consulting and Play Testing*
Bruininks 114/Rapson Courtyard
Apr 6 Thurs Gantt Charts - Selection - Plan**
Bruininks 114
Apr 10 Mon Plastics and Manufacturing
Bruininks 114
Apr 12 Wed Prototyping*
Rapson Hall Courtyard
Apr 13 Thurs Prototyping**
Rapson Hall Courtyard
Apr 17 Mon Presentations and Packaging
Bruininks 114
Apr 19 Wed Prototyping*
Rapson Hall Courtyard
Apr 20 Thurs Prototyping**
Rapson Hall Courtyard
Apr 24 Mon Presentation Practice/Prototyping
Rapson Hall Courtyard
Apr 26 Wed Presentation Practice/Prototyping
Rapson Hall Courtyard
Apr 27 Thurs Prototyping**
Rapson Hall Courtyard
May 1


Dress Rehearsal**
Coffman Theatre
May 3 Wed Playsentations**
6PM, Coffman Theatre
May 4 Thurs Class Wrap Up**

Rapson Room 100