I am coming back to THE event of the year : a first-time auction fully dedicated to kids’ design and furniture, held by PBA Auctions in Brussels on December 16th. On a post from October 27th, I featured some of the amazing vintage pieces that will be on sale (see it here). Those include pieces from design masters such as Jean Prouve, Luigi Colani, Arne Jacobsen, Harry Bertoia, Hans Wegner or Charles Eames, as well as anonymous pieces. Apart from its focus on children’s pieces, what makes this auction sale so attractive is the window on contemporary pieces, from a younger generation of designers, some well established (Richard Hutten, Maarten Baas, Yoshitomo Nara) and others quite new on the design scene (design of the XXI century). Project pieces and prototypes by Nika Zupanc, Alain Berteau, Karen Ryan, Nicolas Destino, Lucas Massen are particularly innovative and fun. Above, the humorous and playful chairs by Guy Brown.






I have to say that one lot really caught my attention: “7 Porcelain dolls with imperfections“, the Graduation project of Daphna Isaacs at the Design Academy of Eindhoven (2006).

As a little girl I got one of the first dolls with long brown hair. Identifying with her she became my favourite doll. Dolls represent the way we view babies, children and adults. They brigde the gap between reality and fantasy and are as such very popular. Shape and colour are the main ingredients determing the emotions, dolls evoke. The susceptible child however is subjected to an idealized beauty concept, which doesn’t always match reality. The seven porcelain dolls represent imperfections, commonly ignored in our over-idealized concept of beauty. The way we are marked in real life, is reflected in the complexity of doll processing: in particular unpredictable mouldseams, deformations, shrinkage, cracks and uncontrolled colouring. These very occurences are exploited to characterize each doll uniquely“.

Toys manufacturers have made recent efforts to bring a better representation of ethnic groups to the market. It would be interesting to know if Daphna’s questioning will have a resonance on the toys of the XXI century.