Graduation Year


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Reader 1

Nancy Macko

Reader 2

Fred Leichter

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Rights Information

2020 Megan C Robalewski


In this thesis, I use human-centered design methods to discover new ways of conceptualizing plastic use, with the goal of suggesting strategies to lessen human impact on the environment that people will actually adopt. I accomplished this by analyzing children’s toys and parents’ relationships with them, both in the context of their own children and as gifts. I conducted 11 interviews, focusing on three parents, and prototyped a design solution to address aspects of their needs and concerns related to plastic and their children’s toys. My final design was a toy that aims to introduce children to sustainability by teaching them about mycelium and natural network formation. This design functions not only by engaging children, but by providing parents with an option for a toy that is not made from plastic, is open-ended enough to keep children interested as they grow up, and is durable enough to pass on.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.