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Toy Design Curriculum

All programs’ curricula are developed in response to Program Learning Outcomes, which signify what students learn within a degree program or emphasis area. All program learning outcomes respond to overarching Institutional Learning Outcomes. View the Toy Design program learning outcomes here

Show All Foundation Course Descriptions
Fall - Foundation (Show All)
Course Course Number Credits
Life Drawing I FNDT180 3
Life Drawing I

Sequenced instruction provides rigorous training in the use of gesture, anatomy, and structural figure drafting. Drawing the human figure from the inside out fosters an understanding of complex visual relationships. Upon completion of the course, students are able to analyze the human form and to view it as a complex perceptual model for the larger realm of visual experience.

Principles of Design FNDT115 2
Principles of Design

This course is a sequenced investigation of various organizing principles using traditional and contemporary media. Students learn fundamentals of value manipulation as determinants of visual order. Elements of visual literacy provide a basis for the study of compositional fundamentals, including focal point(s), directional elements, and visual weight.

Lab fee $30

Drawing and Building Form FNDT160 3
Drawing and Building Form

Students study form in both two-dimensional rendering and three-dimensional building through drawing and building objects. Skills of relational measurement, compositional organization, and the placement of form in space inform both drawing and form-building activities. Drawing techniques such as perspective and isometric projection facilitate successful form generation.

Writing in the Digital Age ENGL107 3
Writing in the Digital Age

Students will explore the ongoing cultural, technological and social changes that impact our ways of reading and writing, and what does it mean to be literate in the digital world. A minimum grade of "C" (2.0) is required to pass this course.

Prerequisite: Successful completion of ENGL090 or placement through the Writing Placement Assessment.

Introduction to Visual Culture AHCS120 3
Introduction to Visual Culture

Introduces issues and theories that are critical to the field of Visual Culture and representation in art and design.

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Spring - Foundation (Show All)
Course Course Number Credits
Life Drawing II or
Creative Practices and Responses
FNDT182 or
FNDT171
3
Life Drawing II

Structural drawing and perceptual skills are expanded through study of the figure's relation to environment, life-scale, movement, and draping. Students discover individual sensibilities of mark making and aspects of personal vision, through a variety of traditional and experimental drawing media and techniques.

Prerequisite: FNDT180 Life Drawing I
Recommended for students planning to select Digital Media, Fashion Design or Toy Design as their major.

Creative Practices and Responses

A second-semester Foundation course focused on exploring practices of creativity that bridge art/ design disciplines. Students are exposed to a diverse range of concepts, materials, and methods for working creatively. In class activities promote the documentation of individual creative processes and the synthesis of intuitive, culturally constructed, and personal impulses into inventive visual responses. Recommended for students planning to select Product Design as their major.

Connections through Color and Design CAIL101 3
Connections through Color and Design

A second-semester Creative Action studio course introducing students to contextually-based problem solving using fundamentals of color and design. Students learn Munsell color theory and practical aspects of color mixing such as value, hue and chroma. Students apply these skills in solving problems that engage the larger community, transdisciplinary practice, research, and collaboration.

Drawing Studio or
Form and Space
FNDT192 or
FNDT161
2
Drawing Studio

Students transfer and expand on acquired skills from Drawing and Building Form with the addition of color, problem finding, complexity of idea, and the introduction of Adobe Illustrator as a compositional tool. Acquisition of research skills, an exploration of modern and contemporary notions of cityscape and landscape, and the introduction of more varied drawing media fosters students' realization of aspects of personal vision.

Prerequisite: FNDT160 Drawing and Building Form

Form and Space

Students employ acquired skills transferred from Drawing and Building Form to explore and exploit materials as well as to discover unique processes in creating novel form. The study of three-dimensional design expands to encompass meaning construction, composition and research as students engage the more complex issues of form and space.

Prerequisite: FNDT160 Drawing and Building Form
Recommended for students planning to select A/L/I, Fashion Design or Product Design as their major.

Elective FNDT145 1
Elective

Foundation year students can pick any Foundation Elective to fulfil this requirement. See the department or the Course Catalog for more information.

Birth of the Modern AHCS121 3
Birth of the Modern

Explores the key issues, problems, and events in art, history, music, literature, science, and design associated with and resulting from the social and cultural changes that occurred in the modern world.

Ways of Knowing LIBS114 3
Ways of Knowing

An interdisciplinary theme/issue driven project based course for first year students. This course will be paired with another course in a different discipline that is exploring a similar issue/theme. See Department for course offerings.

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Show All Sophomore Year Course Descriptions
Fall - Sophomore (Show All)
Course Course Number Credits
Toy Design I TOYD200 3
Toy Design I

Students develop an understanding of the creative process of toy design. Emphasis is placed on developing toys which engage children in what is referred to in the toy industry as “play patterns.” Students apply skills in drawing, model making and fabrication to create original toys which engage children in imaginative play and shape developmental skills and decision-making, socialization and creativity. Students learn to conduct market research and analysis to insure that their designs are appropriate for the category of toys they are designing. Using various fabrication techniques, students will translate their idea into 3D models, and present the final products to faculty and visiting toy industry professionals.
Prerequisite: TOYD200 is a prerequisite for TOYD201
Lab Fee: $50
 

Visual Communication I TOYD232 3
Visual Communication I

To communicate effectively, a designer needs to have at their disposal a broad range of drawing skills. Students will develop and expand their ability to communicate ideas through drawing from quick ideation sketches to final illustrations. In this course, students learn how to take a concept from a rough sketch to a refined set of technical illustrations. Students will acquire skills that enable them to produce illustrations that accurately convey their design intent and serve as a blueprint when creating a prototype model. Students are introduced to the basic drawing tools in Adobe Illustrator. The skills learned during this course will be utilized throughout the remainder of the Toy Design studio courses.

Design Prototyping l TOYD242 3
Design Prototyping l

This course will equip the student with practical toy industry prototyping skills and vocabulary that will enable them to correctly evaluate the development of their designs. The student will integrate prototyping skills and techniques into their designs, developing a full understanding of the entire design and development process. Practical challenges will be presented for students to problem solve under pressured time constraints to force the creative use of skills in real time situations. These challenges will encourage practical thinking and association skills that will enhance their abilities to design, ideate, and develop new creative products. It will also allow each student to work in a design team environment.
Lab Fee: $200

Methods and Materials of Production I TOYD250 2
Methods and Materials of Production I

Materials used for manufacturing within the industry are important because they determine the durability and safety of toys, toy use by consumers, and the methods and costs of production. Each of these issues must be considered in order to successfully design and market a toy. This course focuses on different manufacturing processes as well as the understanding and use of materials used in toy design. Of special interest are issues regarding sustainability.

Child Psychology SSCI211 3
Child Psychology

A comprehensive overview of child development from conception to adolescence, including developmental stages, critical periods, effects of early stimulation, environmental enrichment, and how to apply this information when designing children’s toys, books, games, products, and entertainment.
Required for Toy Design majors. 

Contemporary Issues * AHCS220 3
Contemporary Issues

Addresses a variety of issues in art, design, film, and culture from 1960 to the present. Students may focus on fine art, mass media, or design, or popular culture. More than one course may be available, see the Course Catalog and consult the department and/or your advisor for more information.

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Spring - Sophomore (Show All)
Course Course Number Credits
Toy Design II TOYD201 3
Toy Design II

Students develop an understanding of the creative process of toy design. Emphasis is placed on developing toys which engage children in what is referred to in the toy industry as “play patterns.” Students apply skills in drawing, model making and fabrication to create original toys which engage children in imaginative play and shape developmental skills and decision-making, socialization and creativity. Students learn to conduct market research and analysis to insure that their designs are appropriate for the category of toys they are designing. Using various fabrication techniques, students will translate their idea into 3D models, and present the final products to faculty and visiting toy industry professionals.
Prerequisite: TOYD200 is a prerequisite for TOYD201
Lab Fee: $50
 

Visual Communication II TOYD233 3
Visual Communication II

In this class students will continue to develop analog drawing and sketching skills to communicate ideas and concepts, storytelling and character development, which is key to brand creation. They will also use the computer as a means to present an idea in 3-D and then output, through 3D printing a model via rapid prototyping. Digital CAD (Computer Aided Design) classes will include Rhino and V-Ray, as tools.
Prerequisite: TOYD232 Visual Communication I 

Design Prototyping II TOYD243 3
Design Prototyping II

This course will provide the students with working knowledge in the processes and techniques used in model making for the toy industry. Fabrication, sculpting, and molding and casting will be taught through lectures and hands on experience. With the building blocks learned in this course the student will be able to confidently move on to more advanced skills in subsequent courses and design methodology.
Lab Fee: $150
Prerequisite: TOYD242 Design Prototyping I
 

Methods & Materials of Production II TOYD251 2
Methods & Materials of Production II

This second-semester course explores more advanced manufacturing processes and materials. Discussion focuses on the fundamentals of plastic components and on design, exploring the possibilities and limitations associated with plastic toy components. Of special interest are issues regarding sustainability.
Prerequisite: TOYD250 Methods and Materials l

History of Toys AHCS236 3
History of Toys

Provides a historical, cultural, and social perspective on toys and games with discussions on their creation and use. Students will also learn about the development of the global toy industry.
Required for all Toy Design majors.

Creative Action Lecture * CAIL200 3
Creative Action Lecture
Creative Action Liberal Arts electives enable students to work in transdisciplinary teams with a community partner. Emphasizing collaborative methodology, synthesizing diverse perspectives, creativity, critical thinking, clear communication, and information literacy, students engage in issues that extend beyond the traditional classroom. See department for course offerings.
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Show All Junior Course Descriptions
Fall - Junior (Show All)
Course Course Number Credits
Toy Design III TOYD302 3
Toy Design III

Students will expand on and apply principles they have learned in Toy Design I and II to create original toys which can be expanded to become a toy brand with line extensions. Students will utilize analog and digital drawing skills, technology including digital design software for rapid prototyping, and explore methods of fabrication using a variety of materials. Students will learn the most effective methods of presenting their toy concepts visually, demonstrating new features digitally when it is the most effective way of communicating play patterns and function. Corporate sponsored projects may occur during either semester, but regardless, critiques will include visiting toy industry professionals.
Prerequisite: TOYD200/201 Toy Design l/ll 

Drawing for Toy Designers TOYD322 2
Drawing for Toy Designers

Introduction to the theory and practice of sketching, drawing, and rendering techniques as applied to toy product. Focus is on sketching of original characters and storyboarding as a way of communicating original concepts and features of toys and related accessories. Included will be a variety of toy categories including action figures, dolls, vehicles, plush, and playsets.
Prerequisite: TOYD233 Visual Communication II

Visual Communication III TOYD332 2
Visual Communication III

This course continues exploring the advanced techniques in Rhino, the 3D modeling program used in the construction of prototyping models. By using Computer Aided Design (CAD) programs (the same as in the toy industry) students learn advanced modeling and prototyping techniques. Students will be introduced to Studio MAX for several styles of rendering and basic animation skills. This course combines instruction on the computer with guidance in the standard requirements for the production of 3D models through output to the rapid prototyping machine.
Prerequisite: TOYD233 Visual Communication II

Design Prototyping lll TOYD340 3
Design Prototyping lll

Using the skills from previous classes, the students will conceptualize and design their own intellectual property to bring to life an action figure based product line. Graphics, presentation, functionality and more advanced building techniques will be used. The prototype will be articulated with movement and/or lights and sound. Storyboarding will be utilized to show how the character(s) live in their "world" and how this toy could become a transmedia brand with a future as a movie, video game, or comic series. The class final will include a presentation to industry professionals.
Lab Fee: $150
Prerequisite: TOYD243 Design Prototyping II

Creative Action Studio * CAIL300 2
Creative Action Studio

An upper-division interdisciplinary studio course offering unique core content that shifts from term to term. This studio affords students the opportunity to engage with professionals from various fields and expand their notion of problem solving beyond their major in public site real world challenges.

A limited choice of CAIL300 courses will count for the Sustainability Minor.
Please see the Interdisciplinary Studies Director.

LAS Upper Division Elective LIBS314 3
LAS Upper Division Elective

This course can be an upper division Art History or upper division Liberal Studies elective. See the Course Catalog (pdf) for examples of upper division elective offerings or see the Department and/or your Adviser for more information.

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Spring - Junior (Show All)
Course Course Number Credits
Toy Design IV TOYD303 3
Toy Design IV

Students will expand on and apply principles they have learned in Toy Design I and II to create original toys which can be expanded to become a toy brand with line extensions. Students will utilize analog and digital drawing skills, technology including digital design software for rapid proto-typing, and explore methods of fabrication using a variety of materials. Students will learn the most effective methods of presenting their toy concepts visually, demonstrating new features digitally when it is the most effective way of communicating play patterns and function. Corporate sponsored projects may occur during either semester, but regardless, critiques will include visiting toy industry professionals.
Prerequisite: TOYD200/201 Toy Design l/ll

Drawing for Portfolio Development TOYD323 3
Drawing for Portfolio Development

This course concentrates on the creation, organization and presentation of the student’s portfolio. Students will develop the knowledge of how to compile a cohesive body of work to assemble in a portfolio. Students will design a logo and create a promotional sheet and that reflects their graphic skill, and creative styling and examples of their design work. Students will write a resume that expresses their creativity, design experience, and links to a digital portfolio. Additional attention is given to interviewing skills and techniques.
Prerequisite: TOYD322 Drawing for Toy Designers

3-D Visualization TOYD333 3
3-D Visualization

This is an advanced computer lab course that allows students to continue to develop their 3–D modeling skills with Rhino and learn more advanced modeling techniques. Students will continue to develop their Studio MAX skills with more advanced rendering and animation skills. The course will introduce Adobe After Effects as a means to create more compelling digital video presentations with animation, titles, sound effects, and transitions. Content focuses on the advanced use of computer programs to output models for ongoing projects. Students apply acquired learning to improve toy design projects.
Prerequisite: TOYD332 Visual Communication III

LAS Upper Division Elective LIBS314 3
LAS Upper Division Elective

This course can be an upper division Art History or upper division Liberal Studies elective. See the Course Catalog (pdf) for examples of upper division elective offerings or see the Department and/or your Adviser for more information.

Math for Artists and Designers MATH136 3
Math for Artists and Designers

Explores the connections between math and art in two and three dimensions. The class includes an exploration of Escher’s work, tiling the plane, fractals, and the golden ratio. It also covers topics such as graphing equations and geometric constructions.

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Show All Senior Course Descriptions
Fall - Senior (Show All)
Course Course Number Credits
Toy Design V TOYD400 4
Toy Design V

These are advanced level courses in which students continue in their development of conceptual, technical, and creative skills and methodologies relating to toy design. Emphasis is placed on identifying future trends and technology and integrating them into the toy design process. Students will have been exposed to the unique and different categories of toys and children’s products and how those products are part of larger brands and entertainment properties. Corporate sponsored projects may occur during either semester, but regardless, critiques will include visiting toy industry professionals. Students may have had the opportunity to participate in summer internships where they gained “real world” experience, and will be able to apply that learning as well as their classroom experience to design and prepare their senior show. It will showcase their talents, and is held at the end of the spring semester.

Digital Drawing & Illustration I TOYD420 2
Digital Drawing & Illustration I

Understanding of form and material indication from the previous semester is now executed in full color. The course starts with the application of color to backgrounds and other simple elements used in concept sketching. By the end of the course, students are rendering at photo-realistic levels using the computer as a digital tool. Students learn how to render a toy of their own design in full color at a professional level.
Prerequisite: TOYD323 Drawing for Portfolio Development 

Games and Game Theory TOYD426 3
Games and Game Theory

Focuses on game theory from a behavioral science perspective, and applies that perspective to an understanding of a variety of games. The course includes a historical and cross- cultural emphasis. Students create an original game and fully functioning prototype.
Prerequisite: TOYD303 Toy Design IV

Juvenile Anatomy & Ergonomic NSCI308 3
Juvenile Anatomy & Ergonomic

Anatomy is the study of the structures and functions of the human body, and ergonomics is the applied science of equipment design. This course examines the human anatomy and its implications for the ergonomic design of toys for children at different stages of physical maturation.
Required for Toy Design majors. 

Capstone LIBS440 3
Capstone

A required senior- level course where students identify and critically reflect on a theme that intersects with their own studio practice, discipline, and/or identity and their work in Liberal Studies. The Capstone is the signature course and culminating expression of the Liberal Arts program.

A minimum grade of “C-" or better is required to pass this course.

Note that Creative Writing, Art History, Cultural Studies, Sustainability minors, and Fine Arts majors take specific Capstones. Please see department for courses.

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Spring - Senior (Show All)
Course Course Number Credits
Toy Design VI TOYD402 3
Toy Design VI

These are advanced level courses in which students continue in their development of conceptual, technical, and creative skills and methodologies relating to toy design. Emphasis is placed on identifying future trends and technology and integrating them into the toy design process. Students will have been exposed to the unique and different categories of toys and children’s products and how those products are part of larger brands and entertainment properties. Corporate sponsored projects may occur during either semester, but regardless, critiques will include visiting toy industry professionals. Students may have had the opportunity to participate in summer internships where they gained “real world” experience, and will be able to apply that learning as well as their classroom experience to design and prepare their senior show. It will showcase their talents, and is held at the end of the spring semester. 

Career Development ** TOYD415 2
Career Development

This course will cover interviewing skills, research and targeting potential job prospects, and preparation of oral and written communications. 

Digital Drawing & Illustration II TOYD421 2
Digital Drawing & Illustration II

An advanced computer lab course that allows students to apply their knowledge from prior drawing classes to on-going projects in an effort to build their portfolios.
Prerequisite: TOYD420 Digital Drawing and Illustration I

Package Design TOYD430 2
Package Design

Focuses on creating three dimensional solutions to solve a variety of packaging and retail problems. In addition to marketing issues, package design addresses a variety of storage and safety concerns. Students address these issues as well as the graphic treatment of the package. Of special interest are issues regarding sustainability.
Prerequisite: TOYD400 Toy Design V

LAS Upper Division Elective LIBS314 3
LAS Upper Division Elective

This course can be an upper division Art History or upper division Liberal Studies elective. See the Course Catalog (pdf) for examples of upper division elective offerings or see the Department and/or your Adviser for more information.

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* These courses may be taken either in the fall or spring semester. 

** TOYD415 Career Development: although the coursework is offered during the fall semester, students are encouraged to participate in an industry internship during the summer between their junior and senior years.


The curriculum displayed is meant to provide an overview of the current semester’s offerings in this department; it does not represent all degree requirements for the Major or Area of Emphasis. These can be found in each student’s Course Catalog (identified by the year in which one would have entered the college as a Foundation student), which can be found here. If you have questions regarding your specific curricular requirements and/or Course Catalog, please contact Academic Advisement Coordinator Carrie Malcom at cmalcom@otis.edu or (310) 846-2550.