Studio Groot to distribute Torrie toys from Healthy Storytelling project

News - 07 June 2023 - Communication

Excess weight and obesity are increasingly common in our society. In response to this, researchers from the TU Delft | Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering’s (IDE) Healthy Storytelling project began investigating how to foster conversations around topics such as these. And now, one of the products they designed to help with this task - the Torrie plush toy – will be distributed by Studio Groot.

Within the ZonMw-funded Healthy Storytelling project, the Torrie demonstrator was designed by Niko Vegt, Annemiek van Boeijen, and Valentijn Visch; together with design agency &RANJ and other project partners. 

A far away island

The programme aims to improve the health knowledge of grade 5 students and their parents through 'storytelling'. Each Torrie toy comes with following tale: Torries, who take the form of cuddly toys when “visiting” schools, come from a faraway island. Each child takes a Torrie toy home to look after and each week they are given a different parenting task. This task can be related to nutrition, social health, exercise, environmental factors, or sleep. The children complete the tasks together with family members or housemates. 

With this project, we investigated how interactive storytelling can be used as a persuasive game design element. The Torries turned out to be a tool that many parties were keen on.

― project leader Valentijn Visch.

From prototype to implementation

"From ZonMw, we then received an additional grant to take the step from prototype to implementation. For this, Charlotte de Wit was hired. With her, we made a final iteration of the prototype, set up a second evaluation study and will apply for RIVM certification," says Valentijn Visch.

Charlotte has also found a party willing to further adopt, circulate, and implement the Torrie toy – Studio Groot. Founders Jennifer Aalbrecht and Sheila Wassink are exited, "We see the project as a great addition to our picture book and accompanying teaching materials that help young children develop healthy lifestyles both at home and at school."