Episode 214: No Work and All Play

What is it to be a toy or a tool? What is the difference between work and play, or is there a difference at all? Seriously playful stories from an archaeologist, a designer of toys for disabled children, and circuit-bending musicians. Who is influencing who in the process of design, creation, and the use of toys and tools?

 

Host: Hannah Krakauer

Producers: Hannah Krakauer, Liz Bradfield, Daniel Hirsch

Featuring: Michael Shanks, Jessica Zarin Kessin, Reed Ghazala, Sridharan Devarajan, Mike Rosenthall, Mike Mellenthin, Heather Roberts

Music: Kissing Johnny, Dubious Ranger, Nimbleweed

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Story 1: World Of Things

Michael Shanks shares his experience with Chrysler Automobiles and their pursuit of understanding how people interact with their things, whether it be a car, an instrument or a cell phone. How do we, in an age of generic devices and mass produced baubles, define ourselves as individuals with these modern day artifacts?

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Story 2: Enabling

The world of product design represents an academic and practical synthesis of engineering, psychology and art, put to test every day in the products we purchase and use. Stanford graduate and entrepreneur Jessica Zarin Kessin shares her experience starting and building her company, Development By Design, which creates developmental toys for children with disabilities.

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Story 3: Using Toys to Make Music

Circuit Benders make music with machines. Co Hosts Mike Mellenthin and Heather Roberts interview Circuit Bending Legend Reed Ghazala, "Bent Fest" Organizer Mike Rosenthall and other musicians to get to the root of a question: what is the difference between music and noise?

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Photos via flickr (1, 2, 3)