Child’s Play

Competition Details


by Liam Hawry

The “ORDERING CHAOS” toy chest re-imagines the functional toy chest as an interactive vehicle for play. Although visually complex, the chest is a very simple object.
A wooden front panel covers a shelving unit that has variously sized compartments. The front panel can be spun by a child. As it is turned, cut out sections of the front panel reveal different compartments of the shelf unit behind. A painted design on the wooden panel describes the arrangement of the compartments.
By constantly revealing and showcasing the different toys kept in the chest, discovery of old or forgotten toys is encouraged.
The simple and colorful interaction of the chest is suitable for a child in Piaget’s “Intuitive Phase” (4-7) as impulsive free play. However, as the child grows on to the “Concrete Operational Stage” (7-11), the color patterns begin to take on meaning, and even support more reflective and logical play habits.

Materials A-H as shown in exploded view:
A: The FSC Certified 1/2” thick plywood “base” with natural stain and low VOC clear-coat finish will ship flat, ready to assemble.
B: The powder-coated sheet steel (1/16”) “foot” adds additional stability to the unit, and supports the Montessori sense of a “home” for the chest itself.
C: The FSC Certified 1/2” thick plywood “ back-plate” supports the round shelf unit.
D: The steel “bands” are riveted to the inside of the plastic shelf unit for support.
E: The “shelf unit” is made from a single sheet of 1mm thick thermoformed PLA corn-based polymer .
F: The “front panel” is a hand painted FSC Certified 1/2” thick plywood. The diameter of the round panel, is designed to be just under four feet for efficient use of the standard 4x8’ sheet stock.