What would toys created by designers—and not professional toy makers—look like? The Fondation d'enterprise Hermès, which supports artists and organizations that are committed to fostering skill and creativity in their work, sought to find out by putting out a call to young designers to interpret the concept of domestic play for its fourth biannual Prix Émile Hermès competition. (Yes, we're talking that Hermès.)
Twelve finalists were chosen out of 762 entries from 62 countries, and their projects will go on display this weekend in Paris. Take a look below and try to guess which objets are meant for kids and which are for adults. But maybe there's no difference after all.
1. "Your Shelter" by Maciej Chmara and Ania Rosinke is a wooden trolley that can be arranged into many different configurations.
2. "Interactive Wallpaper" by Alexandre Echasseriau connects to a sound system and responds when a design element is pressed by hand.
3. Joeva Gaubin's "We Do Not Play at the Table" is a table-top game in which a blue glass and a shiny knife are used to uncover hidden messages and secret motifs in the fabric's design.
4. "Trikado" by Gemma Guinovart Morell and Franz Bourgeois is a game of balance inspired by the traditional Mikado pick-up sticks game.
5. "Clico" by Camille Courlivant, Rose Dumesny and Line de Carné brings to life objects constructed by children through a connected mobile app and tablet.
6. Guillaume Darnajou's "Snail Racing" game is just that: wooden snails are moved along a circuit according to the number of centimeters the dice indicate. First one to make a complete round wins!
7. Benjamin Charles and Simon Joyau's "Dorémix" is a musical train that runs along a circular track and simultaneously composes a melody. It's the connected tablet that makes the train go "Choo!"
8. "Demi-Jour" by Léa Pereyre and Claire Pondard is a simple shadow game whereby a series of cut-out cards in various shapes and images is affixed to the back of a smart phone, whose flash creates shadows on a wall.
9. Twenty-eight large felt-covered, high-density "blocks" make up Victoria Gravelier's "Talu" system. They can be arranged in endless configurations and scenarios.
10. Mathieu Lang's "Luc" is a circular version of the "Exquisite Corpse" drawing game.
11. "Oracle" by Valentin Adam and Maxime Loiseau is a game by which a mobile app generates a color that must be found in the room. Once each of the players submit their choices, the program will analyze them and decide which object is a closer match.
12. Jean-Simon Roch's "Vibrato" employs a vibrating metal disc that allows for objects to spin and dance upon a sheet of paper.