Mehrafza Mirzazad


Gender Neutral Toy for Kids


Human-centered design

Critical thinking

Design thinking

Emotional design

Design research

Design for change

Gender equality

Autodesk Fusion 360





Product design

Toy design

3D modeling

3D print






Lecturer and Designer


Industrial Designer

Industrial Designer

Industrial Designer

ONION was a critical thinking project for  Design Lab 1 course for the first year master degree student in Rochester Institute of Technology. 

The goals of this project were 

1) Help the first year grad students collaborate with each other which each of them have different backgrounds with different skills.

2) Learn about critical thinking and system thinking about educative toys

3) Learn Autodesk Fusion 360 

4) Use 3D printer

5) Make the product ready for production



The timeline divided into 6 phases: 

1) Systems thinking and undrestand the interconnected systems
2) Group brainstorming and discussing about problem arena

3) Ideation and Sketching

4) Technical drawing

5) Autodesk Fusion 360

6) Production. 
Each student was responsible for designing 3 pieces for "Gender neutral ONION" toy kit. 




The group brainstorming starts with the discussion about the classic toy "Potatoe head" in the class.

Mr. Potatoe is one of the first Mix and Match and successful modern toys. The company creates Mrs. Potatoe after a while to extend the market and reach to female customers.



Why do we need more gender neutral toys?

Our brain and our biases have influenced our daily life and decisions.  Our brain is one of the most complex systems in the world and controls everything from our emotions to our behavior and decisions. 

All human are socially constructed it means we understand the world based on the information that comes in our brain and the experiences we have in our life from the moment we born until its end. 

Every toy creates a new experience and construct a new norm in our brain and build a new information in our knowledge's bank and it influences the way we live, and perform or act in a social setting. 

Every toy trains our brain in the earlier stage of our life. It is exactly like learning a new language. 

Every experience in our early childhood as an experience create moral social practices, norms, and codes. 

According to Leyla Acaroglu" We are a product of the experiences."

All these gender-based toys create a statuesque about being female or male which social science show us there is no black and white in gender spectrum. 

Gender neutral toys are boosting cognitive biases and build empathy to strength the equality in our society and schools. 


There was only one ONION head in the class all students designed pieces supposed to fit and work on the only head.

For most of students with different background it was a challenge to calcute everything in mm scale and apply it on their design for the perfect fit. 

Designers must first make a freehand sketches and then make a hand-drawing technical drawing.


All the designed applied in 3D software Autodesk Fusion 360 and produced in 3D printer.