Child’s Play

Competition Details

Patterned World

by Emily Meza
Co-authors: Sean Billy Kizy

Patterned World is designed to foster the innate imagination of five to six year old children. At this age, children begin to distinguish fantasy from reality. Their cognitive development comes from experiencing the world around them as they engage in and enjoy dramatic play. Patterned World perpetually changes into different fantasy environments and builds an active game that promotes social interaction and gross motor skills.

As the children move the tri-panels into an infinite number of their own imaginative configurations, they begin to blend their fantasy world and reality. Our design incorporates several panels at varying scaled heights of 1.5, 3, and 4.5 feet. Slots and holes are strategically placed to practice fine motor finger manipulation as they bring sheets of loose fabric through one slot to the next. As they manipulate the panels, the kids let their imaginations freely run to whatever jungle, galaxy, teahouse, or rocket ship they desire.

The simple construction of wood, metal mesh, cotton, and fabric make Patterned World an economical, ecological design. Each panel is made from lightweight wood, bendable metal mesh, cotton batting, and vibrantly patterned fabric. All materials are chosen because of their low environmental impact. The wood base is sturdy enough to stand alone and light enough that children can move it easily. Malleable metal mesh above the wood allows children to shape the tri-panels. After padding each with cotton batting, fabric wraps each partition adding color and texture.

Patterned World was built to be practical for the child, but also for the caregiver. The individual panels bend 360 degrees to meet one another. This allows the tri-panel to bend into a single, stacked plane for storage and packaging. While incorporating practical and ecological concerns, Patterned World continually promotes cognitive and physical development while nurturing children’s desire for fantasy play.