Leyla Suzuki Toker
Growing up in a multicultural environment, I was stimulated by diverse points of view and problem-solving approaches to universal challenges, which drove me to explore the discipline of product design. Through my educational path with a focus on science and engineering, opportunities to ideate unique designs where I can demonstrate my creativity and experiences excited me. What motivates me to design is to make people enjoy the present moment, detached from the stresses of daily life. I am, therefore, passionate about designing entertaining experiences for all ages.
What I like about the design process is the constant exploration through observation, expansive use of imagination, and approaching everything with curiosity. Thus, I was inspired by the most curious minds—children—and how they discover to make sense of the world. In my major project, I concentrated on designing for play and learning, which I believe is the best when intertwined. I designed an educative tool that turns conventional building blocks into smart blocks. The aim of the game is to recreate 2D images given on the cards using building blocks. The system detects the position and the orientation of the blocks and provides feedback on the player’s performance. This fun and interactive learning shall support children’s grasping of abstract geometrical concepts and develop their spatial skills. These include creating a 3D mental image and transforming it by taking a 2D image as a reference.
Build-go-Round is an educational tool that develops spatial skills in young children. It encourages them to recreate 2D diagrams using building blocks, fostering abilities in mental rotation and establishing a link between the abstract 2D images and the tangible reality of 3D objects. The optimal age for training spatial skills related to 3D objects is around 7 years old. Initially designed for children aged 5 to 8, the game could become enjoyable for all ages as more difficulty levels are added in subsequent iterations in the future. It can be played both during classes and playtime. The device provides direct feedback on players’ task performance, allowing independent play without adult supervision. However, utilizing spatial language such as “flip, rotate, above, below, right, and left” has been proven beneficial for children’s spatial skill development. Thus, playing with the assistance of an adult might be optimal. Build-go-Round’s building blocks remain technology-free, offering an offline, organic playing and learning experience. All technological processes occur behind the scenes on the platform. The feedback system aids children in enhancing their spatial skills through self-exploration.