Senior Capstone : Pokogi

IxD/ID Capstone Project



Senior Capstone / 10 weeks

Advisors : Matthew Marzynski and Axel Roesler
Team : Eric Freistadt
Skills : user research, ideation, concept development, illustration, product design, CAD, 3D rendering

Project : The final class in the design program was a student capstone project. For this project I decided to team up with a friend in the interaction design program to explore a hybrid approach to designing a product. As a team we were interested in exploring topics that promoted self-enrichment and exploration. Through multiple brainstorms, we decided to design a toy that helps children learn about their world with a digital friend.

Project Goal

In many of today's societies children are being introduced to a lifestyle that is heavily reliant on technology. With smart devices and video games becoming the new definition of "play," children are spending more time alone rather than with their natural social environment.

As future generations continue to grow with technology, Pokogi is an exploration of how we can leverage this relationship as a way to engage and promote a child's awareness of their surroundings.


Research and Ideation

We started our research by interviewing teachers and at a local preschool structured on the philosophies of Montessori education. Here we had the chance to observe how teachers conducted their classrooms and encouraged children to work productively.

From our research we learned about a learning process known as scaffolding. This teaching method is well known in education and has been used as a framework for many learning activities.

Scaffolding: The goal of scaffolding is to help students achieve a deeper level of understanding through guided learning. This approach relies on a constructive learning relationship between the mentor and student that promotes individual and group reflection and self-direction.

With the information gathered from our research and observations, we began to brainstorm how we can translate our learnings into digital and physical interactions.


To start, we played with ideas of how we can simulate guided learning through gamification. Our thoughts began with interactions that were based on collaborative play, learning activities and story telling. With the convenience of technology, most of these directions led us to screen based solutions that we thought overall inhibited the outward looking experience.

This made us realize that we wanted to bring this product beyond on-screen interactions to create an experience where the child is playing with the product rather than through the product.



For our aesthetic we wanted to communicate fun, play and growth. Inspired by nature and products designed for children, we wanted to give our product a lovable and friendly personality.



Pokogi is a playmate that moves beyond the on-screen experience. Using gestural and conversational features, children can play with their new friend and advance their observation and critical thinking skills that are crucial during a child’s development.

Together with the child, Pokogi evolve and grow with every unique experience.