This is the online portfolio from Tabea Kowalski, an industrial designer based in Zürich, Switzerland.
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The toy empowering girls to develop their skills in catching and throwing.
Project in cooperation with Lego and The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts
8 weeks, 2014
Instructors: Søren Holst, Thomas Harrit
Briefing: A product which stimulates the motor development of children aged between 4 and 10.

In co-creation workshops with a select group of children, decisions on colour, size and motivation of the toy were made.

While observing ball games played by young children, I noticed a significant difference in playing style between boys and girls. Further research suggested that very few ball games were actually designed with girls in mind. I therefore set out to design a toy that would strengthen both throwing and catching skills specifically for girls aged between 4 and 8. Design choices relating to the colour, size and motivation of the game were based on both video analysis, as well as interviews with the target group.

At its core, “Pinø” seeks to stimulate assembly, exploration and self-determined designing. With such a mission in mind, the toy was designed with an inherently modular character. The basis for this modularity are the two plastic hemispheres which form a ball once assembled. Additionally, foam pins can be attached to the ball in different configurations. Each different configuration leads to a different game that can be played, ranging from a simple bouncy ball or a massage ball to an old maid game and more. Possible future steps in further developing “Pinø” could include various design variants of the pins, allowing for further expansion of the universe of games. The plastic hemispheres are produced using injection molding, while the pins are made of elastic PU foam.


Numerous materials, shapes and mechanisms were tried out in the process of the model making.


The pins vary in colour to allow different configurations and accordingly, many ways to play with the toy.

Used materials
PU Clay / PET

Used methods
co-creation workshops / interviews / video analysis / user experience survey

Used tools
Solidworks / Adobe Photoshop / lathe / thermoformer