27 July 2008

Call for papers: Toy Design Education

Call for papers: Toy Design Education

A special issue of International Journal of Arts and Technology

This special issue seeks long- and short-form submissions exploring issues related to teaching toy design within an academic or higher education setting.

In this context, a broad definition is used of ‘toys’ as the physical and virtual objects and surroundings offering opportunities for playful behaviour, including games, playground equipment, real and virtual environments, video games and interactive installations.

With an increasing complexity of the working field of design, specialisations arise and this has resulted in programmes and courses on the design of toys and other products for play, such as games and interactive media for children. To some extent, toy design depends on general design methodology and knowledge. But the nature of play and its special characteristics brings challenges that require special knowledge and new approaches to the profession of design.

This special issue focuses on the following issues:
What justifies toy design to be considered a specialisation within the general world of design?
How can awareness among students be created of the special characteristics of play, and toys as the carriers of these special characteristics?
Which special issues, approaches, and ways of thinking do students need to become familiar with?
To what benefit can various contemporary fields of research be applied within toy design?
How can an effective toy design curriculum be created to incorporate this?

The special issue seeks contributions from professionals in toy design education and affiliated areas that focus on experiences and knowledge on effective teaching in toy design. It welcomes both theoretic contributions and case studies or examples of best practice. Topics include, but are not limited to:
  • Toy design curriculum building
  • Key issues distinguishing toy design from general design, and how to transfer knowledge on these issues to students
  • Sources and resources for toy design teaching
  • Assessing general quality and play value of toy design within students' programmes
  • Example projects demonstrating educational effectiveness of toy design programmes
  • Challenges in toy design education and needs for further research and development of toy design curricula
Each submission should be written in a way that is accessible to the multidisciplinary audience of the journal.

Important Dates
Abstract (optional): 3 November, 2008
Paper submission: 2 February, 2009
Acceptance notification: 24 April, 2009
Camera ready papers due: 30 June, 2009

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