Re-interpretation of the traditional Colombian Ring toss game / project in collaboration with Dario Narvaez

Latin America has a huge amount of traditional games with unexplored cultural richness an practically none or little design intervention. The project basis is to take one of these games and explore from an industrial design perspective. The selected game is one of the most known games in Colombia Juego de la rana. It is commonly played in rural areas as a way of entertainment and there is no real rules other than tossing the rings to get the maximum amount of points possible. The only elements that are always present are the frog and the rings
The legend
The design was based on the legend behind the traditional game which says…"A legend tells that toads were worshiped for their magical powers. During holidays natives gathered to throw gold pieces into the lakes, with the hope that a toad would jump and eat it and turn into gold. Legend says that when this happened, the thrower was granted his/her wish."
We started asking ourselves ‘’ what is necessary to play the game?” “what elements can we get rid off?”. We found out that the elements that are always present regardless off design, number of holes or size are the frog and the rings which are always made in metal. The noise when the ring hits the frog is a really crucial part of the experience because creates the excitement of knowing that was close to hit the maximum score.  By using noble materials, we intended to simplify the visual and functional language and the whole experience during the use of the product. We aimed to exalt the conceptual load and the history of the game. Each part and material fulfill a specific function, generating an experience of democratic game and honesty, in which high level of skill or instructions is not required and is suitable for any age range. We wanted to create an sculptural element that you’d like to have at home. Displayed as a nice work of art but completely useful when at a gathering with friends. Something compact that embodies the basis of the legend and the game itself
We explored  in several mockups and prototypes to come up with the most efficient design in terms of assembly, interaction and fabrication. We put a lot of emphasis on how each part should be easy to interpretate and how the interaction should be efficient.
Rana was showcased on the COLOMBIA Design booth, during Wanted Design NYC 2015 and MEDELLIN DESIGN WEEK 2015.
The fabrication
Due to complexity on the shape of the main body we had to design the best process to manufacture it and design the necessary jigs to achieve what we wanted. The material for the main body is Cork, the legs are made out of casted Onyx resin, the frog was CNC out of an aluminum billet and then chrome plated.
The initial mockups for the legs were formed in a Lathe out of foam, once the final shape was decided we made nylon legs for the silicone molds and to be able to scale the manufacturing in a most efficient way. No Post treatment were made to the legs, the matt finish was intended.
The punctuation system resulted from the constant search of simplification. We wanted simple points, same as those used on dice. Commonly the score in the traditional game start from 10 and ends in the thousands. The goal is that even a child can play and enjoy “Rana”.

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