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Fast Forward: Future of Play

Crawford Family Forum
“Autolympia” ©2016 Jeremy D’Ambrosia, Harmonie Tsai, Jack T. Xu

Gone are the days when child’s play could be as simple as some blocks and a pile of books. Apps, video games and virtual reality compete for young people’s attention. What does this mean for those charged with creating playtime at a time when technology has bridged physical play with digital play?

Children want to be entertained, so for designers, it’s not just about creating objects but rather creating meaningful experiences that define the future of play, against the backdrop of today’s highly competitive toy and entertainment industries.

Yet the power of play goes beyond entertainment: It can impact the quality of a child’s education, health and personal empowerment.

So what is the future of play? And how are the entertainment industry and parents coming to grips with it? Join KPCC early childhood development correspondent Deepa Fernandes as she explores this question on Thursday, December 8, with special guests.


Johanna Stein, director of Global Foresights and Co-Creation Tools, at Mattel, a global leader in play, learning and development. Stein leads a team devoted to monitoring the changing consumer landscape, including external industries, core demographic groups, technology adoption and impact, emerging cultural conversation and developing businesses.

Currently a lead interaction designer at Disney Interactive Labs, Kurtis Schureman develops next-generation products that extend Disney’s stories and characters across all digital platforms and devices. He is also owner and design director of Caveman Crayon Design Studio, providing design services to people looking for a fresh approach to the way they interact with art and design.

Specializing in creative industries, product development and licensing, Krystina Castella is author of “Kidmania: 50 Things Every Designer Should Know About Kids,” a fun and playful sourcebook filled with quick bites of information in psychological, cultural, cognitive, physiological and practical considerations in designing for children.

This event is part of our "Fast Forward: Designing the Future” series, co-presented by KPCC In Person and ArtCenter College of Design, examining the intersection of technology, design and the human experience. Showcasing Southern California as a hub of innovation, we’ll explore how the interaction between humans and the world will be reshaped as products and experiences continue to impact our day-to-day lives in the not-too-distant future.