MIT Media Lab

Role: User Research, illustration, woodworker, web developer

Working in the Social Computing group in the MIT Media Lab with Kimberly Ann Smith allowed me to get in touch with my inner child once more, where we developed early childhood education toys for children to learn computer science concepts without a screen.

Process: I was involved with a lot of the steps of the creation process, albeit it in a bit of a more unusual order. When I first started, I created instruction manuals for the already created toys by illustrating the process of using each product. Simultaneously I worked on designing and building the website for the toy production company. After that I performed user studies with children by visiting various Montessori schools and trying to take notes on children’s interactions with our toys and other toys while repeatedly having to tell them no, I’m not here to play with you I’m trying to work! I also helped in the toy creation process by creating cardboard prototypes, building the toys (mainly out of wood and cork), and reaching out to third-party carpenters to outsource the creation process.

Anna M. Pfoertsch