Reading Thoughts on the globalization of design by Christian Etter and the responses to this message, I started to wonder if recent toy design by Moroccan children could add something to the discussion.
Although they don’t analyze their self-made toys in such terms I think they clearly express the influence of globalization. For example, when girls start to use Barbie-like dolls they yet dress themselves. In this case a new type of doll is adapted to local custom.
Another example - making a mobile phone with clay, using a piece of tin as screen and pebbles as buttons - exemplifies how commonly used material serves to make a high tech communication device that only very recently entered the adult world in southern Morocco.
For the moment, the influence of new material and ideas creates a greater diversity in the toys of Moroccan children from rural areas as traditional toymaking techniques and formerly used natural and waste material continue to be used together with cheap imported industrially made toys. Yet, in popular quarters of towns the globalization of toy design and toy marketing brings forward an impoverishment in children’s toys through a depreciation of self-made toys.