lego is biggest toy maker in the world. topped barbie doll-maker mattel. via industry tap [RK]
ladislav sutnar. prototype for build the town building blocks. 1940–43. painted wood, large block: 1 3/4 x 2 3/4 x 2 3/4″ (4.4 x 7 x 7 cm) | click > enlarge
Curated by Juliet Kinchin, curator, and Aidan O’Connor, curatorial assistant in the Department of Architecture and Design is MoMA’s survey of 20th century design for children. It takes on “the modernist preoccupation with children and childhood as a paradigm for progressive design thinking.” —and much more. It is built on the ideas of Swedish design and social theorist Ellen Key. It is also overwhelming.
avante-garde playtime: 1910s > 30s
It encompasses 500 objects, from Froebel blocks to playground plans by Isamu Noguchi to Roald Dahl books. The show might arguably be a better book or film documentary, since the scale of objects varies so much and so much explanation is needed. It seems to carry a heavy central European flavor; Kindergarten, of course was a German word and thinking about childhood psychology was tied to Vienna.
Where is Asia? Where, for that matter, is America? A tighter focus might have been on say toys–where education and entertainment play out their antithesis and offer a way into the wider topic. The whole idea of “fun”– a modern idea, associated with the child, seems absent here. Fun, as a philosophical concept. Fun, as a consumerist value.
Despite the size of the show, wandering through it reminds the viewer of what is left out. One of the key roles of the child in design is as a base case for the psychology of learning and interface—the labs of Seymour Papert led to Graphic User Interface. And American and global commercialism is de emphasized. The brute marketing force of Disney and Mattel and Kellogg’s is critical to this story. Where is the My First Sony line of electronics, for instance?
As early as Giacomo Balla and the Futurists, designers understood that grown ups would want kid’s stuff. We adults want the children’s toys—and their bright colors and basic shapes. Or did we assign those things to children to begin with because we secretly wanted them ourselves? [ century of the child ] [ moma ]
2 > power play: 1960s > 90s
3 > designier better worlds: 1960s > 2000
4 > graf zeppelin toy dirigible, c. 1930
iron alloy, aluminum, enamel paint, and decals | 7 ¼” x 25″ (18.4 x 63.5 cm) | manufacture attributed to J.C. penney co., inc., plano, texas | minneapolis institute of arts
the modernism collection, gift of norwest bank minnesota
5 > three figures, c. 1925 | joaquín torres-garcía (uruguayan, 1874–1949)
painted wood, twelve interchangeable pieces | daniela chappard foundation
© 2012 artists rights society (ARS), new york / vegap, spain
6 > school desk, 1946 | jean prouvé (french, 1901–1984)
enameled steel and oak 28 1/2 x 45 x 34″ (72.4 x 114.3 x 86.4 cm) | manufactured by ateliers jean prouvé, nancy | the museum of modern art, new york | dorothy cullman purchase fund
7 > omnibot 2000 remote-controlled robot, c. 1985
24″ x 15″ x 14″ (61 x 38.1 x 35.6 cm) | manufactured by tomy (formerly tomiyama), katsushika, tokyo | space age museum/kleeman family collection, litchfield, connecticut
8 > indoor play area, 1985 | renate müller (german, born 1945)
jute, leather, wood, play area: 3 x 8 x 5″ (7.6 x 20.3 x 12.7 cm) | largest puppet: 12″ (30.5 cm) | collection of zesty meyers and evan snyderman / R 20th century
9 > holdrakèta and original box, c. 1960
tin, box: 24″ x 6″ (61 x 15.2 cm) | manufactured by lemezaru gyar, budapest (est. 1950) | collection of joan wadleigh curran, philadelphia
10 > ford convertible toy car with original box, c. 1956
ford car: 3 7/8″ x 5 1/8″ x 13 1/4″ (9.8 x 13 x 33.7 cm), manufactured by marusan shoten ltd., tokyo | subaru 360 toy car with original box, c. 1963 | subaru car: 3 3/8 x 3 3/8 x 7 7/8″ (8.6 x 8.6 x 20 cm), manufactured by bandai, tokyo (est. 1950), bruce sterling collection, new york
11 > schaukelwagon (rocking car), 1950 | hans brockhage (german, 1925–2009) and erwin andrä (german)
15 3/4 x 39 3/8 x 14 15/16″ (40 x 100 x 38 cm) | beech frame and birch plywood seat
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[ brik-a-bloc ]
zoe miller and david goodman, the UK-based toy designers, got their start making children’s books exclusively for the tate gallery.
They made Color and Shape following the success of their 2004 debut, A is for Artist and two years ago they made their foray into children’s toys with the award-winning Shapemaker, a take on those old wooden block puzzles you may have played with as a child. The design improvements abound, with shapes hand-printed onto “environmentally friendly hardwood blocks made of rubber wood – a replenishable wood,” quite a step up from the block puzzles of my childhood, which were pasted on all sides with squares of paper that would inevitably come unglued after hours of continuous play. The Shapemaker, which boasts a seemingly endless array of puzzle combinations may be intended for preschoolers, but its aesthetic and tactile qualities appeal to kids of all ages.
here we go. let’s play house or designer / architect.
newly listed, the emerson house is the perfect home for the modern family. the home has six rooms including a living room, kitchen, library/office, master bedroom, bathroom and child’s bedroom. With an open floor plan and floor-to-ceiling windows, the emerson house enjoys year-round sunlight. the modern house features many extras including mitered-glass corners, two fireplaces, sliding glass doors, solar panels, and recessed LED lights. finally, the house is easy on the environment with only non-toxic and lead-free wood stains and paints.
• 18”H 22”W 36”L
• scale: 3/4″ ( 1:12 )
• lights powered by solar panels
• Designers: tim boyle & doug rollins
a beautiful house deserves beautiful furniture. this living room set creates the perfect atmosphere for entertaining guests, reading a good book or relaxing with family. the set features eleven pieces including TV console, lamps, HD television, sofa, chairs, coffee table, console, side table and rug.
• scale: 3/4″
• 11 pieces
• materials: wood, fabric, leather
saves energy equal to 3,000 aaa batteries.
saves enough electricity to power a tv set for three weeks.
saves enough electricity to keep a laptop computer running for a month.
(*) compared to non-recycled plastic.
green toys says it uses recycled milk containers as the main ingredient in creating their toys. when you finish your milk and toss the container in the recycling bin, the milk containers are collected at your curb by a local recycling company who separates them from all the other types of plastic. next, the milk containers are reprocessed into super clean fresh plastic. for the plastic geeks, the plastic material is high-density polyethylene (or HDPE). this material is considered one of the safest, cleanest plastics around.
built from steel and chrome, it makes a hearty foot-powered toy or art for those so inclined. age range/weight capacity: from 1 year and up to 42 lbs.
Price: $100 USD
The official announce – ment of the new line of licensed Frank Lloyd Wright LEGO sets.
Created in conjunction with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, Brickstructures, Inc. and the LEGO Architecture brand, the first two sets in the series are The Guggenheim and Fallingwater.
Here are the detail via the press release we received:
The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation announced today that The LEGO Group is now the exclusive licensed manufacturer of Frank Lloyd Wright Collection® LEGO Architecture sets.
The LEGO Group and Adam Reed Tucker of Brickstructures, Inc. officially introduced the LEGO Architecture line in 2008. The line currently consists of six buildings – now including two of Frank Lloyd Wright’s most famous and recognizable buildings, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and “Fallingwater.”
With models developed in collaboration with architects, LEGO Architecture works to inspire future architects, engineers and designers as well as architecture fans around the world with the LEGO brick as a medium. Builders of all ages can now collect and construct their favorite worldwide architectural sites through these artistic replicas.
Both exclusive Frank Lloyd Wright LEGO Architecture sets contain booklets that feature traditional building instructions along with exclusive archival historical material and photographs of each iconic building.
According to Director of Licensing and Product Development, Doug Volker, “The LEGO product was one that the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation had considered pursuing for several years. It was the vision, passion and creative desire of Adam Reed Tucker to capture the essence of Mr. Wright’s most famous buildings using the medium of the LEGO brick that brought this partnership into being.”
“Mr. Wright’s buildings are a treasure trove of possibilities,” says Adam Reed Tucker, innovator of the Architecture Series for The LEGO Group. “I wanted to create these marvelous buildings for years, so I’m thrilled to be working with the Foundation in order to include Mr. Wright’s timeless buildings in this series, which conceptualizes the very essence of each building in LEGO bricks.”