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A TOY in daily life

how can we make adults love toys and even play with them?

When I think at the stereotype of a “toy” I see colourful, cute, character-like objects. Something I would probably define even “childish” or “kiddy”. Of course adults love them and most find them even attractive, but what happens when guests are coming home? Well, it looks like adults are more likely to hide toys, considering them something like ad “educational device”, not integrated with the furniture, certainly not something that is nice to show.

But why is that so important for a toy to be attractive for adults too? First, think about the last time you gave yourself a chance to play and, surprisingly, thought “Hey, that’s fun!”. Well, this is probably because we are said that “adults have to work, not to play”. So sometimes adults really forget about playing for ages, and, even worse, play itself is even considered something “childish”. Second, if adults are not willing to play, what about the extra learning-value of kids playing with adults?

Shanghai is a hybrid object that changes its function depending on the intention of the user. As a toy it is a traditional chinese game, very easy rules, it requires concentration and very good fine motor skills. When it is not played, its wooden ring allows to compose its sticks to form a furniture accessory similar to a bunch of flowers. It comes in two colour palettes, a warm and a cold one.

Client: Milaniwood

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