Play Parade. An Eames Exhibition for Kids

Play Parade. An Eames Exhibition for Kids

Under the motto “An Eames Celebration”, the Vitra Design Museum will be devoting itself to famous designer couple Charles and Ray Eames until February 2018. Their fame has been contributed to in particular by furniture designs that gained international repute, like the Lounge Chair, the Aluminium Group furniture and the “Wire Series” from mesh, all of which are now considered milestones in 20th-century furniture design. Tribute is being paid to the legendary work of these important designers in a total of four exhibitions in the museum in Weil am Rhein. One of those is “Play Parade. An Eames Exhibition for Kids”, which invites visitors to discover and try out the many toys created by the designer couple. It is the first project by the Vitra Design Museum that has been conceived especially for children and families.


Experiencing play as a motor for creativity

The “Play Parade” exhibition gives an insight into the concepts for toys by Charles and Ray Eames and highlights the role of play in creativity. The designers considered play to be an important source of ideas, and more than just a past-time for children and adults. This is reflected in Charles Eames’ motto used for the exhibition: “Take your pleasure seriously!” The numerous exhibits from the Eames’ toy collection thus emphasise the special significance of play for the designers themselves, because these toys provided the backdrop for their own designs from the 1950s.


A hands-on exhibition of discovery

A spatial installation full of fascinating shapes and rich colours invites visitors to explore and get involved, allowing them to experience toys as a gateway to great ideas. Visitors can touch and play with replicas and re-editions of the toys by Charles and Ray Eames like “The Toy” modular construction set. Wooden dowels and colourful panels can be used to make model aeroplanes, towers, tents or sales stands. The Eames’ animal masks aim to encourage guests to put on a costume and appear in a circus ring, or they can build large structures with the famous “House of Cards”. This interactive concept lets today’s children experience historical toys and test the timeless quality of these toys. Also, the original artefacts can be viewed in showcases.


Further exhibitions and extensive programme

In addition to this exhibition, the major retrospective “Charles & Ray Eames. The Power of Design” is on show at the same time in the main building in Weil am Rhein, as well as a selection of the over 100 Eames’ films in the Fire Station building, presented with the title “Ideas and Information. The Eames Films”. Additionally, their furniture experiments are on display in the Schaudepot. An authentic reconstruction of the office of Charles Eames is also recreated there, giving insights into the storage shelves of the Eames collection. An extensive programme of talks and workshops provides additional in-depth insights into the world of the designers and shows the lasting impact of their approaches on contemporary design, architecture and film.


About the Vitra Design Museum

The Vitra Design Museum numbers among the world’s leading museums of design. Founded in 1989 by the company Vitra and its owner Rolf Fehlbaum, the museum has transitioned from a private collector’s museum to an internationally acclaimed design hotspot through numerous exhibitions. It houses key objects of design history as well as the estates of several important figures, including Charles & Ray Eames. The exterior of the Vitra Design Museum is characterised by its striking main building, designed by star architect Frank Gehry.


You can also find current designs for babies & toddlers that invite them to play and feature a special design quality in our product category here at Red Dot 21.

Posted on 17.10.2017

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