A moose, a book, and a mobile
app help empower kids to design
solutions to challenges, and change
their environment for the better.

Adventures in Design grew out of a previous project; Design Play, Design Thinking for Kids. Research for Design Play made clear that through the adoption of design thinking principles early on in childhood, children are better able to adapt to unforeseen challenges they encounter as adults. Based on the framework developed for Design Play the team created:

  • an interactive storybook to teach design thinking principles to kids outside of the current educational framework and across different cultures
  • a not-for-profit, sustainable business model for distributing the product around the world

Interactive Storybook

'Adventures in Design, The Stinky Discovery' is the first volume in the proposed storybook series. Accompanying the hero, Designer Moose, the child is guided through an engaging storyline interwoven with a collection of fun Design Play activities. The storybook offers children a self-guided experience as they learn design thinking principles.

The storybook was created in two forms; 1) a version for use on tablet computers that takes full advantage of the interactivity of the device, 2) a printed storybook distributed at no cost to developing regions in need. These two versions are linked through an online sharing community, where cross-cultural learning can occur as children share their ideas and vision of the world.

Business Model - Buy an App, Give a book

Part of the revenue generated by the purchase of an App in one geographic region goes directly toward the printing and distribution costs of a parallel story book in a developing region. There, it is distributed by an NGO partner organization at no cost to the receiving child. Ideas generated by the App and storybook in their respective sides of the globe are shared via the online community.

The team was pleased with the potentially far-reaching results of our efforts;

  • a viable learning tool for future generations, both entertaining and educational, that brings playfulness and wonder to the learning experience
  • an improved childhood learning experience, that will in turn help to develop a sustainable environmental and economic future. There will be an increasing need for innovators in the future to solve unforeseen and challenging problems; our product will help build a foundation of learning for the innovators of tomorrow
  • a sustainable business model – a for-profit business where the "good" is baked in to the development cost of the product. The Buy an App Give a book model gives back a large part of what it brings in, versus a straight charity whose donations rely exclusively on the good will of others
Interactive storybook App

Sample pages from 'The Stinky Discovery' Interactive storybook App

Business Model

The Buy an App, Give a Book business model

Children playing with the book

The product in use by children; the app (in English) and book (in Urdu)

Business Model

Product market share, including tablet users (US) and NGO enrolled children (central Asia)