Degree Type

Creative Component

Semester of Graduation

Spring 2018


Industrial Design

First Major Professor

Tejas Dhadphale


Master of Industrial Design (MID)


Industrial Design


“RAISE”: Parental Monitoring & Facilitation of Visual-Spatial Development

It is the children of today, which will eventually fill the future ranks within the engineering and design fields. It these tribes of makers and creatives which drive innovation and transform insights into tangible, problem-solving solutions. Inherent to this passing of the torch is the necessity for children to be properly educated within STEM areas.

Given the paternal desire to position their children on promising technical career paths, parents experience increasing pressure to provide the highest quality preparation, including visual-spatial development. Further exacerbating this issue, familial trends indicate longer work hours, limited parent-child interaction, and parental fatigue/desire for peace of mind.

Now, the market is flooded with the pre-school “constructive” toys, such as LEGO. Although clearly engaging visual-spatial practice, such traditional constructives do not empower parents to precisely monitor and facilitate their child’s visual-spatial progression in a dynamic, growing fashion. Here lies the opportunity, where one may question how may the parent be assisted towards these ends for children (ages 3-5 years)?

Towards this end, semi-structured interviews and contextual inquiries of15 parents were conducted, along with a literature review. Through the lenses of the user, business, technology, and secondary research, product benchmarking was conducted, parental needs were determined, technological options were compiled, and psychological/biological aspects of learning were considered. This illustrated the significance of 4 aspects of visual-spatial development (imagery, transformation, spatial orientation, perspective-taking), supplementary benefits of constructive play (physical, cognitive, social), and the imperativeness of social learning.

This research was analyzed for convergence and insights towards the elucidation of design criteria and realization in product form. Results suggested 6 key design criteria, including: 1) Parental monitoring, 2) Developmental facilitation, 3)“Growing” functionality, 4) Sharing capability, 5) Mobility, and 6) a System-centric approach.

These core aspects are intended to amplify the rudimentary benefits of traditional constructive play through delivering content directly to children, encouraging play and digital embellishment of children’s “builds” with parents, thereby increasingly parent-child interaction, and allowing parents to assess their child’s performance, initiating either the next, more difficult task or instead through iteration. This was accomplished through the design of a proprietary constructive and an integrated system.

In conclusion, STEM-based skills will be the driver of future innovation, particularly through visual-spatial alacrity. Through the use of the “RAISE” concept, not only will such development be strengthened, but also the need for greater parent-child quality interaction will further be ameliorated.

Copyright Owner

Sever, Daniel

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