The Design Research Group at the University of Northampton has organised an exhibition, All Work and no Play Makes you a Dull Designer, to share their research into the benefits of play and toy design, which includes a number of titles preserved at MACE.
Collective Collaborations Gallery on Market Walk in Northampton opened the exhibit to the public on June 8th and visitors can catch the exhibition from Wednesdays to Sundays until June 29th.
The exhibition has six sections full of toys and playthings that you may remember and fascinating background stories about who created them and why.
A large number of firms and organisations have helped with the event by donating and lending samples and contributing in kind. Local firms such as John Crane Ltd, Toymaster and Osborne Sports and Toys have helped put together case studies on the history of the toy industry.
MACE supplied the following titles from its ITV regional collection: (click title to go to MACE Catalogue Entries)
Vicki Thomas, Senior Lecturer in Design at the University of Northampton said: “It has been an eye opener organising this event. Everyone I approach has a story to tell about some aspect of the project. A warehouse man’s experience of working for Mettoy, a young illustrator’s experience of the Galt store in Carnaby Street in the 1970’s, right through to how market researchers are using toys and games with senior citizens. We are all big kids and find play stimulates us to create. What is really surprising is how much of this is occurring just a stone’s throw from the University.”
It aims to give the local community an opportunity to contribute their toy stories. Visitors’ opinions are welcomed and the Design Research group would like to hear about the benefits of play and toy design the local community.
If you miss this opportunity to see the exhibition there will be a second opportunity when a version of the event opens at the University Gallery at Avenue campus on 28th October until 15th November. The organisers hope to add a new section based on all the stories and opinions collected at the town show.
The Collective Collaborations gallery is based at:
Market Walk (formerly Peacock Place)