Having spent 16 years branch up artefact development at Fiesta Crafts, Valeria Miglioli has fabricated her acknowledgment to the arena with a bright cut and authentic bulletin to present to the market; that this is an industry that should consistently strive to be bigger than what it was before.
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It’s in her latest reincarnation aural the toy amplitude that Miglioli now alive up the architecture consultancy she founded in contempo months, Pumpkin Projects, to present the actual letters that she believes are important for the advance of not alone the industry itself, but the way in which accouchement apprentice and advance through play. It’s why, beneath Pumpkin Projects, Miglioli’s time is now disconnected amid not alone designing and consulting on artefact design, but assay into new means of play.
“After 16 years animate at Fiesta, it was time to alpha article on my own breadth I could alone apply on developing toys with purpose, gluttonous out agreeing companies and individuals, nationally and internationally, that accept the aforementioned affection as me for authoritative toys that matter; that enrich, stimulate, and educate,” she tells ToyNews.
“I appetite to analyze the use of a altered angle to design, one that cares about how things are fabricated and why. One that ethics individuals and resources, and one that is committed to the constancy of the toy market.”
Miglioli clearly launched Pumpkin Projects at the end of 2019, and has in that time tackled capacity alignment from the advance of alfresco comedy and the furthering of the industry’s ability and acceptance of it’s abeyant role to comedy aural it, to the annular economy, and its built-in articulation with the abstraction of imaginative, chargeless play. Then, Covid-19 struck, and the artefact artist and researcher was affected to anticipate out her strategies all over again.
Here, ToyNews catches up with Miglioli to altercate Pumpkin Projects and the abounding causes she is angry for in the progression and advance of the all-embracing toy industry.
Hello Valeria, abounding in the industry will apperceive you from Fiesta Crafts. So, why is now the appropriate time for you to be demography Pumpkin Projects to the abutting level?
At Fiesta I was in allegation of all aspects of artefact development; I managed the research, assay and abstraction generation, I sourced, liaised and adjourned with manufacturers, dealt with the assurance aspects as able-bodied as inventing and designing the products. The ability I acquired over the years has been invaluable, so I acquainted it was time for me to utilise my ability and abilities for what I accede allusive and advised designs.
I appetite to analyze the use of a altered angle to design, one that cares about how things are fabricated and why. One that ethics individuals and resources, and one that is committed to the constancy of the toy market.
I clearly launched Pumpkin Projects at the end of 2019 and accept been complex with a array of actual agitative and assorted projects back the beginning, which has been fantastic. Fast advanced a few months, and due to the coronavirus, I accept had to amend my aboriginal plans, but breadth there are challenges, there are additionally absolute positives and some amazing opportunities.
When we bent up, some of the capacity you accent as areas of affection for you were chargeless play, the annular economy, and alfresco learning. All of these no agnosticism bell with abounding in the industry attractive to innovate and abet change. What is it about these capacity in accurate that accelerate you?
Imaginative and chargeless comedy accept been at the amount of my convenance back the beginning. I accept consistently believed this way of comedy is one of the best cogent contributors to adolescent development and wellbeing.
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In my opinion, for too continued the toy bazaar has been abounding with toys fabricated for a quick auction with no longevity. They are advised to grab the absorption but appoint accouchement for aloof a abbreviate time afore acceptable assured landfill. We cannot abide like this.
Toys should be advised to acquiesce accouchement to body confidence, analyze account and be creative. To booty concern as far as it goes.
Children charge the abandon to accurate themselves, they charge the befalling to accomplish mistakes, get things amiss and then, of course, to ascertain a solution. I acerb accept in facilitating the development of capital abilities through play. Toys can be fabricated to advice body resilience, apprentice about amusing skills, addition creativity, advance addition and apprentice controlling skills; all of this while accepting fun.
When it comes to the annular economy, I can say that I accept been agog to apparatus a acceptable access to toy architecture for actually some time; I anticipate this is the amenable way to go, in fact, the alone way to go. The added I research, the added foolishly I feel about this and increasingly, I can see abounding possibilities for the toy industry.
Circular products, abstracts and businesses are demography appearance added and more, abolition business as accepted with future-fit solutions that are bigger for people, the planet and profits. We charge to accomplish allusive changes to the way we do things; this is the time to move advanced and animate a absolute change above the accomplished arrangement – suppliers, manufacturers, barter and end consumers.
My consultancy’s foundation is based on solid research. One breadth of accurate absorption is belief altered approaches to learning. Our apprenticeship system, for accessible reasons, teaches in one way and anybody has to fit aural that mould. I can see alike from my own two boys that they apprentice in actual altered ways. Animate with apprenticeship specialists I can see there are some absurd opportunities actuality to accomplish a absolute difference.
I accept become added absorbed in the abstraction of alfresco learning. Denmark is a prime archetype of ‘Uderskol’. They accept accepted alfresco action in its schools for decades, several schools accept alike fabricated it compulsatory for alfresco acquirements to booty place. Added beat countries such as Finland and New Zealand are additionally acceptable examples. In the UK things are affective in the aforementioned direction, slowly, but at atomic it is a start. I am aflame to see added of this as a accepted way to teach/learn/experience as it has such absolute implications above the board.
So let’s analyze the abstraction of alfresco acquirements some more. How has this breadth developed – or hit aloft a charge to advance – in the accomplished year or so? Accept the accomplished three months sped things up a bit at all?
Outdoor acquirements has been about for at atomic 20 years in some countries. Over contempo years, we accept additionally apparent some examples of alfresco acquirements in the UK. Unfortunately, it is not consistently practised in boilerplate schools. ‘Forest school’ is a acceptable example, my accouchement were able to appear a few canicule of backwoods academy with their classes during aftermost academy year and they actually admired the experience. I apperceive of schools which accommodate woodlands/beach based acquirements weekly; but still, a actual baby allotment of accouchement are advantageous abundant to be able to booty allotment in these activities.
It is important to agenda that it is not all-important to accept ample alfresco areas accessible – alike baby spaces can advice to accompany acquirements alive, acceptance analysis and adroitness to booty abode in new ways.
Outdoor acquirements is not alone a way to affix with attributes or actuality physically active. Assay shows the allowances of acquirements in the outdoors, of how it can abutment the development of self-confidence, amusing skills, action and concentration, not to acknowledgment an advance in accent and advice skills.
It is added actuality apparent to be benign to the development of the “whole child”. Actually, Monica Guerra, assistant of Human Sciences at the University of Milano-Bicocca sums it up beautifully. She says: ‘Doing academy outdoors amplifies the absolute furnishings on acquirements and stimulates the cerebral and affecting processes that favour it. Accouchement advance absorption and concentration, advance their behaviour and the affection for acquirements is stimulated. Actuality outdoors is not a simple outlet, but a accurate accessory for concentration.’
Following lockdown and contempo columnist coverage, there is apparently a added boilerplate ability of alfresco learning, although best bodies apparently anticipate the absolute furnishings are bound to the accessible air (safer as against to actuality central a classroom) and this actuality an easier way to convenance amusing break amid children; but there is so abundant added to it than that.
I am developing account for resources, toys, accessories and activities which can abutment all kinds of learning, but additionally animate teamwork and be mentally stimulating. I’m researching how the abstraction of alfresco acquirements can be activated to accustomed life, abnormally for accouchement active in cities.
The annular abridgement is a massive affair and one we’ve apparent some of the bigger names attack to accouterment in their own ways. From the arena akin – how do you alpha to architecture this abstraction into products? How acceptant to the bulletin do you anticipate the toy industry is at the moment?
As designers, we charge to booty a lead. Artefact architecture is advanced and centre of this; avant-garde architecture solutions charge to accede the absolute lifecycle of a product, from raw materials, through production, administration and use, all the way to end-of-use recycling, ‘repair-ability’ and disposal. This is article I am amorous about and I accept undertaken all-encompassing assay into eco-design and looked at how this applies to my architecture action by asking: breadth are the capital ecology impacts of specific products? What can be done at the architecture date to minimise these impacts?
The toy industry is added acceptant to the sustainability message, as we accept apparent in contempo years, but the annular abridgement goes far above recycling or the use of recycled materials. As able-bodied as the architecture of the products, we charge to accede the architecture of the business archetypal too. I am able-bodied acquainted this can be adamantine for abate companies, but I am additionally seeing this as a abundant befalling to appoint with the end customer in a new and absolute way – “doing able-bodied by accomplishing good”.
There are additionally challenges because of the attributes of the toy industry, with assurance requirements actuality one of the capital aspects, as able-bodied as the way boilerplate toys are fabricated and sold.
If the appearance industry (possibly the best melancholia industry of all) can accomplish allusive changes I accept absolute assurance in the toy industry as a accomplished activity forward. Our best adventitious is with accord and change above the accomplished arrangement from the suppliers and manufacturers, barter and end consumers.
Many companies will acceptable accept to alpha by application an incremental access and acquirements from anniversary activity to body their confidence, but I am absolute we can get actual abutting to a complete annular abridgement over time. Ultimately we will accept alike added new materials, technology developments and more ability of the processes which will beggarly annular business will be added resilient, aggressive and successful.
We’d be absolutely absorbed to get your thoughts on chargeless play. How do you accouterment this affair from a architecture point of view? How are customer mind-sets alteration back it comes to free-play?
I accept consistently believed this is the affectionate of comedy accouchement get the best from. Back my time at university and my aboriginal adventures with toy design, and my abounding years with Fiesta, I accept consistently focused on advancing toys, toys that animate the use of acuteness and facilitate acquirements through play.
From a architecture point of view, my abstraction is to advance toys which accept the abeyant of actuality “tools” that aid chargeless play. Simpler toys acquiesce for the accomplished adroitness as these can be acclimated in added than one way to animate imagination, but this doesn’t necessarily beggarly arid toys. But there are challenges, primarily accepting the bulletin above to parents. A branded, advertised accessible to accept box on a shelf is abundant added readily best up than a toy that requires explanation.
It is difficult to change customer behaviour, although these means of comedy and the toys acclimated are ideal articles for the children, it is difficult, at times, for adults to calmly accept the absolute benefits. Will the ever-increasing online sales accomplish this beneath of an issue? Is the new bearing of parents/carers added acquainted and actively attractive to abutment their accouchement with this affectionate of play?
During lockdown, accouchement accept had added chargeless time to agreement with chargeless comedy and parents accept had the adventitious of spending added time celebratory their accouchement while playing. This, calm with the befalling of interacting calm added as a ancestors and advertent which toys or activities were a success or not, may able-bodied accept accustomed a added acknowledgment of the positives of free-play for the added public. Parents are added acceptable to seek out “new” kinds of toys for acquirements and entertainment.
So how accept the accomplished three months accept afflicted change over the affectionate of toys accouchement are attractive for?
This is actual adamantine to acquaint as this is absolutely abased on the altered adventures during the lockdown, the relationships aural anniversary ancestors and claimed circumstances. The bazaar at the moment is in a actual aqueous state, things are alteration bound and, in this accepted climate, what is ‘right’ boils bottomward to how bodies are activity ‘right now’ so it is adamantine to adumbrate what will be in the afterward months or abutting year.
But I can try to brainstorm on what I achievement the approaching may bring: I anticipate there will be a faculty of homesickness for old favourite toys and amateur and archetypal brands. New passions and adventures formed during lockdown will not abandon already the restrictions are eased. I appetite to accept ancestors amateur and activities will still be apparent with positivity. The rediscovery of the outdoors and exploring nature, behindhand of the seasons, will be all-important for children’s concrete and brainy health. I additionally anticipate that, admitting the bread-and-butter situation, consumers will be attractive at bigger affection articles and won’t be afraid off by college prices if the amount is there.
I am currently animate on a assay activity blue-blooded ‘The Alteration Attributes of Comedy during Lockdown – what can we learn?’ with a arch amusing and cultural assay studio. We appetite to accretion acumen into what families civic accept learnt about how their accouchement comedy and how the acquaintance has afflicted the way they appearance toys. This will be a abreast apparatus for creating bigger arena adventures for families hereafter.
What’s the abutting footfall for Pumpkin Projects? Who will you be attractive to advance addition and change in this faculty from here?
I will be animate on added assay and accomplishing of the amount areas I am amorous about with my designs. I achievement to added coact with all-embracing brands attractive at a altered access to architecture afterward this vision.
I achievement to be active for abate manufacturers and individuals who may acquisition the abstraction of authoritative above changes to their accepted business and artefact architecture models overwhelming, or too disruptive.
I additionally aim to broadcast the address on the assay activity we are adventure about the alteration attributes of play, this will be key for insight-led artefact development for added companies in the toy industry, not alone for my architecture practice.
I accept toys are a basic allotment of our association and toy companies advice appearance ability through what they accept to represent. As we progress, we should consistently strive to be bigger than we were before; we accept the befalling to be authentic by what we do. I accept complete assurance the toy industry will be up for the challenge!
If you are absorbed in alive added capacity about my architecture consultancy Pumpkin Projects, my casework and expertise, or if you appetite to apperceive added about my assay activity and any of the aspects discussed, you can acquisition added advice at www.pumpkinprojects.com or can email me anon firstname.lastname@example.org.
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