SchoolArts Magazine

AUG-SEP 2007

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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DESIGN ZoLoToPIA A New Classic for All Levels Janet Payne W hat does it take to meet the needs for design innovation in today's world? As two graduates of the Art Center at the College of Design in Pasadena, California, have shown, innovation requires first identifying a need, then solving a design problem by drawing on both graphic design skills and art knowledge. ANeedforInnovation While working on a graphic design job at FAO Schwartz, entrepreneurs Sandra Higashi and Byron Glaser recognized a need for something 30 SchoolArts August/September 2007 new in toys. The result was the birth of Zolo, an innovative, interactive toy designed and produced by Higashi and Glaser and distributed by the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. "We thought of Zolo as a sort of new classic, abstract expressionist bundle of fun," say the creators. The toy is dedicated to the idea that all things wiggly, straight, skinny, blobby, square or round, plain, or spotty can come together as one extraordinary creation. TheDesignPhase The initial idea for Zolo evolved from thumbnail sketches into fifty original pieces based on classic "stick in hole" construction. Refined sketches were drawn with colored markers and pencils on tracing paper, and then actual models were constructed from balsa wood and foam, materials that felt good to hold and manipulate. "We put holes in funny

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