Toys for Elephants

Toys for Elephants

Dates: 21-28 August 2017

Volume: 40 hours, 3 ECTS

Location: Tallinn Zoo

Number of students: max 22

Cost: FREE

Registration deadline: 5th of June

In addition to the general required materials, candidates are expected to submit a CV, portfolio and a letter of motivation explaining why they are applying (max A4).

The Estonian Academy of Arts Department of Product Design invites you to participate in an international workshop entitled Toys for Elephants. Elephants in the Tallinn Zoo need a change of pace to keep their minds sharp. The Tallinn Zoo has set the goal of creating a selection of toys for elephants to raise their cognitive capacity. The toys are meant for either indoor or outdoor play. One particularity of the workshop is the unusual target group and the scale – the toys must be large in order to engage the elephants and take into account their weight. A toy for an elephant could weigh around 1 tonne. The construction specification sheet is also different from the norm: the solutions have to come in special dimensions and be able to withstand extreme conditions.

The tutor for the course will be Lauri Snellman, who is a Senior Lecturer in Design Engineering at the University of Lapland in Finland. The workshop will yield a number of conceptual solutions, of which 4–5 will be chosen to be executed in reality. The workshop will take place at the Tallinn Zoo.


Monday, 21st of August

  • Workshop kickoff, lectures, observations, gathering and analysis of information

Tuesday, 22nd of August

  • Generating and polishing ideas, drafting, calculations of material needed

Wednesday, 23rd of August

  • Delivery of materials

Thursday, 24th of August

  • Execution of concepts

Friday, 25th of August

  • Execution of concepts

Saturday, 26th of August

  • Polishing ideas, preparing for the presentation, presentation

Sunday, 27th of August

  • Presentation of the toys to Tallinn residents at the Tallinn Zoo


Photo credit: Maja Kitsing.