Parsons students create pocket-sized gifts to benefit charities

Small Things Matter at Wanted Design
© Margaret Badore

At Wanted Design this week, students from Parsons Product Design program displayed a collection of small gift items, intended to raise money for charity. Part of a course called “Small Things Matter,” the school has partnered with Areaware to give one student the opportunity to see their object go into production.

The objects needed to fit with Areaware’s existing product line, be produced for a $30 retail price, and create some sort of symbolic connection to the benefitting charity. Daniel Michalik, assistant professor for Parsons, said the resulting designs show the students “going from doing homework to being real designers.”

© Margaret Badore

The winning design, which was selected by a panel of industry veterans, went to Carlos Ng for his Little Architect Toolset (shown above). These small tools are made from wood and magnets, and the different sets can be used together. The three sets include a ruler, a protractor and a 45/90 triangle. Sales of the toolsets will benefit Architects for Humanity.

© Margaret Badore

Second place went to Myungwhan Choi’s Night Guardian night lights, small wooden night lights sporting a cool little mask. Choi designed these little lights with different children’s organizations in mind, like Save the Children Foundation, Aflatoun, and KIDS.

© Margaret Badore

Third place was a tie, awarded to Aikita Sen and Sam Falco. Sen created playful Critter Clips, which can be used as toys or office organizers. Sen made the clips with the intention of benefiting wildlife conservation. Falco’s Bottle Ax is ready to battle against caps, to benefit Child’s Play, an organization that brings toys to children in hospitals.

© Margaret Badore

Jasmine Kim’s Smuggler’s Locks were my personal favorite. Called Jayu, these locks have a hidden compartment to hide messages. Kim designed the locks to benefit organizations that help the politically oppressed.

Tags: Concepts & Prototypes | Design Competitions | ICFF/ New York Design Week