Spy Rod

Spring, 2005
Yumiko Tanaka

A presented work at the Mattel Design Summit in Los Angeles


Children are powerless. They use toys to fantasise about their potantial. What would a kid like to be able to do?
How can objects be used to extend kids abilities?


SpyRod is a camera, which has a long stick and fishing line. Children can see and record the view through the camera with a viewing box.
There are four main things they can do with this camera:

1) Explore a small world
The camera can give them a very low viewpoint and show them a world of small creatures.They can see small things as very big things.

2) Explore a giant world
The long stick enables them to have a heigher viewpoint. They can experience looking down at things that they usually look up at.

3) Discovery
The small camera can show them the sight in a narrow place. The light on the camera gives them clear images of dark narrow places, and kids can explore the places which they can not go into and might discover new things through the cam- era. They also can try to look at many kinds of places using the camera and can find something from having a distinct view.

4) Showing your world to people
The camera and viewer help them to show their idea or world to people. To film the world them create is one of the ways to play with this camera.
By exploring the potential of new small cheap cameras, and by rethinking how chil- dren might use them, they stop being cameras and become third eyes.
It gives children the superpower to turn the ordinary into the extraordinary.


The Spy Rod