Italian designer Matteo Ragni was tired of giving his kids toys only to watch them lose interest after a couple of hours of play. His solution? Try to design a toy that kids could form an emotional bond with—something they would actually love. After watching countless cheap toys break, he also wanted to make a toy sturdy enough to last.
The result was a simple, strong toy car made from sweet-smelling cedar wood. His kids loved the cars, and Ragni ultimately opened up the project to a full range of Italian designers, with some straightforward guidelines: the designers should start with a wooden stump, and two cuts of equal size. 100 of the car designs were recently exhibited at the Museum of Science and Technology in Milan.
Creating products that people want to keep is a central part of sustainable design, whether the users are children or adults. What makes someone bond with a product, and feel less likely to quickly throw it away? It's interesting to wonder whether letting kids design their own cars would have made them love them even more.