Toy as Art?
Everyone loves an object to play with, especially when it challenges creative thinking and even more so when it occupies our time while we have to wait. Aesthetic objects that live on desks, coffee tables, and in waiting rooms are often a saving grace for those of us who need to fiddle with something.
Ed Emberley, best known for his instructional drawing books for children from the 70's, (I learned to draw using his step by step books!) used just 6 basic shapes, showing us how to draw a world with animals, monsters, people, vehicles and much more. Heavily inspired by Emberley, the designers at Miller Goodman created these amazing Miro-esque wooden block forms. They're beautiful, free from toxic materials and impossible to leave alone. With 74 pieces, the formations can be endlessly arranged or stacked to produce hundreds of 3D creations. Just as Joan Miro developed, "automatic drawing", these blocks will create automatic building!
The wooden cubebot, made by Brooklyn based designer, David Weeks, is the ultimate upgrade of transformer-meets-rubix cube. inspired by Japanese Shinto Kumi-ki puzzles, these wooden, robot-like figures can be contorted into a series of clever poses then collapsed into a compact cube. You can also make your cubebot dance, before the challenge of maneuvering it back to a paperweight. His elastic-band muscles allow for some aggressive twisting so you don't have to worry about your child breaking their new toy.
Natural wood Color-Connect is another contemporary version of a "connect" game, but made with naturally stained wood instead of plastic. Unlike its predecessor, you can arrange beautiful rows or shapes of color, surrounded by complementary or contrasting colors. It still can be played as a game (connecting 3 or 4 in a row, wins) but you'd never want to store this beauty away.
Do you have a favorite aesthetic object that you like to display?