Student Work

  • Product Design (BFA)

    Julia Liao


    Toys provide some of the first encounters children have with gender stereotypes. A preference for gender-labeled toys has been identified in children as early as age two. Gender information saturates our society, in the form of marketing and media, and is communicated and performed by peers and parents. Gender-labeled toys reflect the roles and behaviors that society expects children to learn and conform to.Minimaker is a hand-powered toy table saw that comes with accessories and modular wood blocks. Woodworking is thought to be a masculine activity. But Minimaker allows young children of all genders, from ages 3 and up, to gain exposure to the concept of using power tools in woodworking for both fun and play. By learning about safety procedures, the process of transforming material, and building with simple geometric shapes, Minimaker helps children of all genders discover the endless possibilities of physical making.See more about my process at