This week we visited the 2009 Design Event festival in Newcastle, UK, which has been going strong since 2005. It was the first regional design even festival take place in the UK outside of London.
We started at the Great North Museum to see the Sustainable Play exhibition; Doing It For The Kids. Sustainability in terms of materials and waste, as well as the idea of toys growing with and adapting to children, are key themes in the world of play. Toys that are made from ethically sourced and sustainable materials, or else that last a lifetime and have an almost heirloom quality will be key. At the show we saw a number of ‘upcycled’ toys made from existing products, such as Christopher Jarratt’s contemporary take on wooden block sets, through to more radical concepts of sustainability such as Alex Green’s Twin Teddy Kit, which rather strangely transforms the placenta (by -product of childbirth) from medical waste into a soft teddy. …! We’re not sure this will catch on, but it’s worth looking for ways to encourage sustainability in toys and it their packaging.
Here we’ve picked out some our favorites from the exhibition for you to have a look at.