My project  “Combo”  is a modular tool kit for toddlers that addresses issues of immune development in a playful way.
Combo aims to motivate children to get out and explore. It is designed to encourage young children to interact with natural and microbially diverse environments through play. Which in turn, strengthens their immune system.
PROBLEM
 Since the 1950's there has been a steady rise in Auto immune diseases, allergic diseases and inflammatory diseases in western industrilaised countries such as Ireland. This is hypothesized to be partly due to our lack of experience with a wide range of natural microbes early in life.
Process
The first sketch models for the concept of  modular tools. Made usuing found objects in my home such as cardboard, old containers and a broom handle.
The first sketch models for the concept of modular tools. Made usuing found objects in my home such as cardboard, old containers and a broom handle.
An example of what you could make with this early prototype. A magnifying glass, scoop and container
An example of what you could make with this early prototype. A magnifying glass, scoop and container
I thought about the different connection parts and how I could make them more interesting and diverse. This led me to PVC Pipes and bending them to create different shapes.
I thought about the different connection parts and how I could make them more interesting and diverse. This led me to PVC Pipes and bending them to create different shapes.
After speaking to some parents I contacted in the research phase, and showing them the sketch models I made, I knew I needed to test them. I created a series of prototype models that represented some of the items I was thinking of including in the tool kit and gave them as a set with pipes and connectors to two families with children between two & four for testing.
After speaking to some parents I contacted in the research phase, and showing them the sketch models I made, I knew I needed to test them. I created a series of prototype models that represented some of the items I was thinking of including in the tool kit and gave them as a set with pipes and connectors to two families with children between two & four for testing.
Before handing the prototype to the families I did some testing with the objects at home.
Before handing the prototype to the families I did some testing with the objects at home.
Testing Prototypes
The foundation of my design is to encourage sustained interaction with natural microbes in order to help educate a toddlers developing immune system. The objects in this collection promote this interaction and would help to get children into nature exploring, as well as developing fine motor skills and problem solving.
Making the Bags
Dyeing cotton canvas using turmeric
Dyeing cotton canvas using turmeric
Creating a sample drawstring bag
Creating a sample drawstring bag
Sawing the pocket for the inside layer
Sawing the pocket for the inside layer
Adding the cotton straps I made and dyed to the outside of the cotton canvas
Adding the cotton straps I made and dyed to the outside of the cotton canvas
creating pattern, tracing and cutting fabric
creating pattern, tracing and cutting fabric
Adding the zip and lining to the bag.
Adding the zip and lining to the bag.
Details of the final bag
Details of the final bag
The final string bag
The final string bag
Some Possible Combinations

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