The Eames Elephant

Much of the Eames’ design work was built as one-of-a-kind creations for their friends and family. ‘Designed by  in 1945, the  never made it into mass production. The two original prototypes were made out of molded plywood and exhibited at MoMA, but were never seen by the public again until 2007, when a limited, 1,000-piece run in red and natural maple was produced to celebrate Charles’ 100th birthday. Now, 67 years after it was first conceived in the Eames office, Charles’ grandson  has teamed up with Vitra to bring the Eames Elephant to the public en masse and for good. The elephant is available in five different colors and instead of plywood it’s made from thick plastic, a more durable choice for children at play.’

The Eames elephant is a perfect scale for the investigative play of a young child. It is a recognizable icon, and a design classic for the Modern Home. The material choice makes it equally suitable for use in the yard, or in the living room.


Images and excerpts found at Design Applause



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Functional Play

I’m lucky. I have two sweet nieces. Lovely little ladies they are. When selecting a gift for them I can’t help but look for well designed,  useful and experiential objects. It is a joy to share with even the youngest among us, the power of great design. Elements of color and composition, graphic clarity and playfulness must appeal to this set of inquisitive thinkers. Don’t you think? I personally find these designer blocks to be irresistible! Not only do these indestructible playthings invite us to build and explore, they offer a lesson in Modern Architecture and Graphic design.

Above, Eames House Blocks.
Each set of 36 replenishable Michigan-grown basswood blocks represents 29 separate hand-pulled screen passes. In the true Eames spirit, your kids can create a ligneous yard sale on your living room rug while you’re in deep conversation with your guests, then build this living landmark.

Debossed Neutraface Slab Pattern.
“This compact set of 12 Neutraface Slab alphabet blocks above will transmit subliminal stylistic messages to young impressionable minds.”

Alexander Girard Alphabet Blocks
Created by House Industries in a collaboration with the estate of renowned mid-century designer Alexander Girard, the 28 wood blocks feature alphabets based on the Alexander Girard font collection and a cleverly-adapted House Industries factory logo puzzle.

Photo Lettering Blocks
Handmade with House Industries own Photo-Lettering library.


All the block sets above are offered by House Industries.

  • Made in the USA
  • Replenishable Michigan-grown, kiln-dried basswood.
  • Printed with non-toxic, lead-free child-safe inks.

All images and excerpts found at House Industries website.




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Toy design brings joy to everyone

My son was given a collection of toys called “Somewhere City” which was designed by Goran Lelas and featured at MoMA. These delightful critters change parts amongst themselves so you can create other cute critters of your own imagination.

Presently the Somewhere toys sit in my office–I like to call it borrowed–where I appreciate their simplicity, ingenuity and humor, all of which make me smile.

This had me thinking about the deliberate design of some of the other toys and baby gear he's had while growing up. Such thoughtful design offers form, function and fun in ways that make our everyday lives a little more easier, enjoyable and special. For instance the sweet and chewable Sophie teething toy.  She somehow makes baby slobber a lot more tolerable.  Maybe it's because she's made from 100% natural rubber from the sap of the Hevea tree, or maybe because she is French, as Sophie was born from the imagination of a Monsieur Rampeau who created her in 1961.


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