Reaching for the Future

Meagan martin

January 19th, 2024

Major: Engineering with Industrial Design

Genre/Medium: Pine Wood, Wooden Dowels, Acrylic Paint, Wood Finish

About the work: This work comprises five hand-carved wooden toys inspired by various aspects of the Psyche mission. Specifically, it features models of the Psyche spacecraft, asteroid, and rocket, along with two scientists and a command center console. All five elements were made from pine wood decorated with acrylic paint and coated in a clear varnish. All toys are placed in a box roughly approximating a typical toy box. The toys are designed to inspire the people who interact with them to become involved and excited about space—encouraging their users to dream of space and engage with the collective wonder of the mysteries and wonder of space. The toys represent the power of play and the impact of childhood toys on individuals’ paths and passions; these toys encourage the option to work in and opportunities found within STEAM fields.

The five toys sit in a cardboard box with one side replaced with transparent plastic. The box is a gradient from yellow to purple across the length and width but has solid colors of yellow and purple on the remaining two sides. The five wooden toys, which were formed using a mix of hand-carving wood lathe work and laser cutting, are within the box and include a representation of the Psyche satellite with a silver cube structure with a shallow cone on one side, with laser cut panels with a grid pattern, highlighted by gold paint in contrast to the blue color of the general panels. Below the satellite within the box is a toy command center with multiple screens showing various artistic representations of the Psyche asteroid orbit, satellite, and several other screens made from laser-cut inland slabs. To the right of the center, we created two scientists who fit into the command center; each has a white coat and will add layers of play to the set. Next to the scientists is a wooden representation of the Psyche asteroid decorated in gray, silver, and gold. The final toy in the box is a representation of the Falcon Heavy Rocket, which launched the Psyche spacecraft. It is painted black and white with colorful details.

This work would not have been possible without the help, knowledge, and support of Dyllan Nguyen, The Olin shop staff, and the Psyche Inspired team.

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Date Added: 01-19-2024
Credit: Meagan Martin

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