We had three children attend our primary workshop: Yasin (5), Jon (7) and Lewis (7).
We prepared a couple of briefs to see how the children would react.
Instead of giving the kids a large and abstract brief, we asked them to create everyday life objects that they see and use all the time. We had in mind that kids have a wide imagination: they never reproduce reality. They have no notion of proportion and no design concern at these ages.
We put a bloc of clay on the table:
We asked them to create a plate to serve their favourite food, knowing that the result would never looks like a usual plate, but would obviously tell a story: their marvellous stories.
Yasin had some difficulties in being able to grab the clay. It was too hard for his micro hands. He is very young and probably too little to build things. He took some papier mache and built an ‘apple plate’, why not?
Jon and Lewis have both created a small ‘tray’ with clay, to serve the Sunday Roast. According to them, the reason the plates were so small was to welcome a little amount of food: there were designed for miniature appetite and for children’s stomach.
We have also suggested them to invent an object to support the cutlery and to avoid stains on the table after food.
Yasin has created a sausage out of clay and has stuck the fork, knife and spoon into it. This object was accomplished through a complete instinctive and compulsive gesture.
Jon has modelled some mats for each piece of cutlery. After the meal, the user will display its dinner service on their appropriate spot.
Lewis has wrapped fork, knife and spoon together with clay, to create a cutlery nest.
Then, we finished by asking them to design a glass.
Jon is apparently fascinated by dream catchers and explained us that his glasses were only made for rich people of Jonland.
Yasin has drawn a water bubble that does not need to be filled up. The water is enclosed inside and stays there, for life. We imagine that if the user is thirsty, they will make a hole inside or smash the object to rich the precious liquid.
To introduce a new subject, we asked them to design a shoe. We spread some markers on the table and encouraged them to draw their designs.
They were all inspired by the animal world: each shoe has a tong, to swallow the dirt of the pavement, but also for self-cleaning. Good point: useful and sustainable.
Jon has drawn some legs, underneath the sole. We suppose he was inspired by roller skates. But the good thing with the legs is that the wearer does not have to walk: the shoes walk for him.
Lewis has actually created a fishshoe that can clean in front of the wearer (using the tongue) and behind (using the tail) the user. He has also imagined a Chimera female shoe, inspired by the mythology (dragon) and the middle-ages (spiral point). The heal has claws that can scratch anything such as men, women or bad dogs.
Yasin has drawn an axe-rainbow pair of shoes, with an integrated sock.