Nov 24, 2015 | By Kira

When looking for Christmas gifts for children, we often put fun first, and see educational value as an added bonus. But what about toys that are both beautifully and responsibly crafted, that not only teach children their ABC’s, but go further, actively engaging them in real-world problems including environmental threats, natural ecosystems, and wildlife conservation? A recent Kickstarter does all of that. Koguma is an ethically crafted and beautifully designed piggybank made in France with the help of 3D printing. Not only does it teach kids to save money, but it also includes an augmented-reality app, Icecap, that allows them to discover arctic ecosystems and teaches them to save the planet.

As an ethical bundle for both children and adults, Koguma presents itself as a polar bear piggybank, which of course begins by teaching children the value of financial savings. However, through the augmented-reality app, designed by Emissive Studios, children can view their Koguma as a moving character its natural environment. The AR game turns real-life, high-level concepts, such as man-made pollution and global warming, into game-like stories that children can understand.

In order to bring this multi-level educational product to life, a highly talented and dedicated team of partners was formed. Firstly, Koguma is made by Coq En Pâte, a French children’s and fashion publishing company that places ethics at the heart of all creative processes. Secondly, Koguma was developed in partnership with the IUCN (the International Union for the Conservation of Nature), the world’s largest nature conservation organization, with a membership of over 1200 governmental and non-governmental organizations. The IUCN is also home to Koguma’s second scientific partner, the Save Our Species (SOS) Initiative. They were also able to work directly with Polar Bears International, a field of experts in arctic wildlife that gave them key insight when designing the augmented reality educational app.

In terms of designing the polar bear itself, Coq en Pâte contacted papercraft artist Yasuyuki Wada, known for his elegant and natural designs. He began by first shaping the Koguma using traditional paper folding techniques, before creating a CAD model and then using different iteration techniques including 3D printing to ensure that the final product was exactly as functional and beautiful as they wanted.

Once satisfied that the 3D printed prototype was as close as possible to Wada’s original design, the final models were manufactured entirely in Saint Malo through the injection molding of cellulose acetate, a breakthrough material made wholly from renewable sources, and that has been declared 100% biodegradable. In keeping with their commitment to transparency, trackability, and responsible creation, Koguma was made entirely within a 10km² production radius.

While Coc en Pâte has confirmed that Koguma is ready for production, they have launched a Kickstarter campaign in order to raise funds for the first run. Production will start during the campaign, and shipping will start immediately at the end of it, the second week of December—meaning they will arrive just in time for the holidays. Early ‘Bear’ packages start at just €40 for a Koguma piggybank and the Icecap app.

Combining responsible design, entertainment, and innovation, the Koguma piggybank and AR app were designed to sensitize kids to wildlife conservation. In addition, a portion of each purchase will be donated to the IUCN’s SOS initiative. Save, Play, Donate—what lessons could be more valuable to a child during the holidays?



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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