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Industrial design student wins contest and patents childrens toy

on Tuesday,December 15,2009 21:12

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Working in industrial design requires a great amount of versatility and creativity. Showacasing both of these skills, a Virginia design student created the Ferra, a puzzle-like wooden toy adorned with magnets that challenges children to form shapes and figures through magnetic adherence.

Kelly Harrigan created the Ferra for a design competition held by Swiss toymaker Naef Speilzueg. Of the 107 entries in the international competition, Harrigan won first place earning her first design patent and the prestige of being a successful designer.

Harrigan, a fourth-year industrial design student in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Tech, chose to work with magnets due to what she views as a shared curiosity.

"(I used magnets) because people are fascinated by them at any age," Harrigan tells the Virginia Tech homepage. "I wanted to design a toy that makes you want to experiment and learn about the capabilities of magnetism."

Through the patent, the Ferra, named after the ceramic Ferrite magnets used to construct the toy, will be able to be licensed for mass production through the university.

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