2011-06-01 - 2011-06-03
To Japan With Love
At this year's interiorlifestyle 2011 the London based British European Design Group is doing something different following the recent earthquake, subsequent tsunami and reactor disasters in Japan; something that may help to create a positive spirit of sharing between younger and older children and adults.
In an unique and spontaneous collaboration our associated British and Japanese designers have created a series of adorable do-it-yourself doll and toy kits, which are specially designed for the children of Japan, who will also have lost their favourite toys. The toys they have associated with most while they were in the safety of their homes, happy in the secure knowledge of being loved by their parents and close relatives and looking forward to another day, when they would be able to play with their brothers, sisters or friends and their toys.
UK Design Team
Flora and Mimi Braddell
British textile designer and artist Alix Timney has designed four unique characters for the Give-a-Smile-Toys Japan Project - two animal characters for a younger age group, as well as a teen boy, Kyoshi, and girl, Ai - for those a little older. ‘I'm thrilled that Bagdoll is working with Give-A-Smile Toys on this project of love, hope and support to children experiencing the harsh aftermath of the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. For myself, and many other mothers, just being able to sit, talk and sew with our children, forms the basis of fond and everlasting memories, happily rewarding the child with a soft companion to cuddle forever. My girls, Mimi and Flora, are always keen to see the latest characters I've designed, the colours, their clothes, creating a story for each of them. We'll sit and sew the clothes and dolls together for ages, then they plan little adventures playing with them. I hope these characters can help to bring a smile and some new, happy memories to lots of children when they receive these toys."
& Brendan Fitzpatrick
Rachel O’Neill Studio
Brendan and I together with our families in Northern Ireland felt so utterly helpless after seeing the terrifying images from the Japanese earthquake and tsunami. When we were approached by the BRITISH EUROPEAN DESIGN GROUP with this project we felt compelled to create something, which might help someone, somewhere and bring a little smile to their face. The GLOVY LOVYS have all been lovingly handmade by ourselves with our families for a child in Japan to let it know that it is not totally alone and that many people in the world care for it!
GLOVY LOVYS are little characters created from simple gloves, a garment which crosses cultures and is globally recognised. We have sent the GLOVY LOVYS out to 'Give-A-Smile' and lend a helping hand!!
I wanted to become involved with Give-A-Smile Toys after being deeply touched by the devastating circumstances the children of Japan have found themselves in. If, by designing a toy, I could be of any assistance to help them cope just a little bit with their losses and build memories for their future, I wanted to do it. I chose a fox (or “Kitsune” in Japanese) as they frequently appear in Japanese folklore and stories. They possess magical abilities to shape shift and trick people, but are also faithful guardians and friends. I wanted to create a character that would provide the children with a feeling of comfort, safety and humour."
Japanese Design Team
Fukuwarai “Happy go lucky” Some of my friends and relatives are from the North of Japan. I sympathise deeply with them and wondered, how I can help. My design is about human interaction with humour and culture. So I re-designed “Fukuwarai”, which is a Japanese traditional toy, which asks the player to create a face from individual facial parts with closed eyes. He is only allowed to see what a funny face he has constructed once he has finished his task. Fukuwarai means “Happy go lucky” in English. I wish I could help to create a little bit of fun with my toy even though people experience such a difficult time. I firmly believe that positive minds make society better.
I engaged in this project because I really want to do something for my own country! This disaster devastated many precious things especially in the North East of Japan. I designed a soft toy with cherry blossoms, which is one of the ancient symbols of Japan in the hope that the small pet toy based on a German dachshound will bring a little bit of happiness to a child. I want to say we are with you and keep supporting Japan.
Stand design by:
Tokyo International Exhibition Center (Tokyo Big Sight)