Confronted with the challenge of creating a toy using solely rubber bands and one other material, I thought of a variety of ideas. From the myriad sketches, one concept that stuck out to me was inspired by a childhood joy I share with many: a ride-on car. Looking to effectively employ rubber bands and enhance the user experience, I decided to design a life-size wind-up car for people of all ages. Ideally, this oversized wind-up vehicle would not only be an attractive decoration and entertaining toy to observe, but also something the user could sit on for an exhilarating experience. The life-size wind-up wooden car would both blend in with a child’s toy collection and could free an adult’s inner child.
I fear I nervously rushed through my presentation, thinking I would disappoint my peers and the critique guests due to the inability to ride on the car. However, I think David Ringholz epitomized my design when he acknowledged although it cannot transport a person, the product still accomplishes my goal of evoking an adult’s inner child. As he explained, in reality this is probably a side table that doesn’t get much attention nor use beyond holding items. On the occasion, though, that an adult does reel it back, there is that inherent, childish joy.
Until David said this, I think I was too focused on making the car transport a human and unable to step back and neutrally evaluate the life-size wooden wind-up toy. David accurately expressed my frustration when I couldn’t find a rubber band that would make the car work, pointing out that during the design process, when you reach a daunting, maybe impossible, challenge you question your concept and wonder, “is this worth it?” For example, is it worth finding the world’s strongest rubber band to make this work? Is this a good, worthy design? Thus, I was elated when David resolved this question with, essentially, “I think you proved it was,” and furthermore, “for the challenges you faced and things you had to learn, you’re asking the right questions, moving the design forward at a good rate, and, for a young and new designer, this was a successful project.”
I recognize my design is not perfect and there are a variety of ways it could be improved. Likewise, I have a lot of room for personal growth in sketching, designing, craftsmanship, photographing, presenting, and more. However, especially after the critique, I feel like I have grown as a student and I am proud of the work I produced for this rubber band toy project.