A new art class gave students a chance to play with their work while learning more about technology and business.

Students in the Toy Design class got a hands-on lesson about the world of toy design, right down to the point of selling their creations to the public.

“This course is an attempt to help students understand the industry and art of toy design,” said Professor Portico Bowman. “I like to call this the ‘beta version’ of the course, because this is the first time it’s ever been taught here.”

Students studied the mechanics of toy making, the philosophy and psychology of toys and the purpose of play, while looking at the toy industry to analyze trends and marketing strategies.

The Art Department even teamed up with the College of Technology to provide students with experience in using a 3-D printer to produce their designs.

“This gives the students a better representation of what’s actually going on within industry in terms of cross-collaboration,” said Norm Philipp, assistant professor in the School of Construction. “It lets the students see both facets so that they can put something together and put it out into the world.”

The course ended with a sale on the Oval at which students marketed and sold their creations to the public. Proceeds were donated to the SafeHouse Crisis Center.

Art of toy design