Designers in Toyland—With a Twist

For the past three years AIGA has put on an end-of-the-year Toy Show called Designers in Toyland which has been very successful. They say, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” but AIGAJAX would add “make it better!” This year AIGAJAX’s Design for Good team is partnering with Don’t Miss a Beat, a local after-school program to take the Toy Show to a new level.

Instead of leaving it up to the designer to create a toy from scratch based on their own theme as has been done in previous years, this year designers will be working with the students from Don’t Miss a Beat to create a character drawing. That drawing will serve as the basis and inspiration for the designer to build a toy. We’re looking for designers willing to volunteer one hour of their time to meet with the students of DMAB on Thursday, October 25th from 4:30 to 5:30 and to work one-on-one with a student on the drawing of their character. The designer/artist will then take the sketch home and over the next month create a toy based on the drawing. During the session with the student, the designer might offer advice on such topics as possible super powers, character accessories, envisioned materials, and of course the design of the character itself.

Characters will be sponsored by local businesses, so all our proceeds funnel directly back into DMAB, and will be showcased at the December Art Walk. Ultimately, they will end up on display at DMAB’s Christmas Pageant for all participants and their families to see.

If you’re interested in becoming part of this amazing project and the opportunity to make an impact on a child’s life during the holiday season, please email our Design for Good Director, Caroline Zwicker, at!


Design for Good is a platform to build and sustain the implementation of design thinking for social change. This platform creates opportunities for designers to build their practice, their network, and their visibility. Design for Good recognizes the wide range of designers’ work and leadership in social change which benefits the world, our country and our communities.

Design for Good supports and sustains designers who play a catalytic role in communities through projects that create positive social impact. By connecting and empowering designers through online networking tools, inspirational stories, chapter events, training, national advocacy and promotion, Design for Good serves as a powerful resource for designers who wish to work in this area and a beacon for designers leading the charge.

By aigajacksonville
Published October 15, 2012