citron, kiwi et poire – creative toys for kids by Julian Lois and Quentin Vialard


Tell us about your background.  How did you become a designer?

We are two young French designers graduated from l’ecole de design de Nantes atlantique respectively in the field of global and industrial design. As a designer I come from product design and cardboard packaging but Quentin comes from interior design, it gives us a nice synergy. “Citron, kiwi et poire” was not our first collaboration but as we have different visions we challenge ourselves from it; and sometimes compromise have to be made (but we always want to work together again!). Our great strength is that our products have a spatial dimension aspect and are thought as a whole. Our design passion comes from sketching, practiced since our earliest childhood and we still love to scribble outside of the lines.

We improved our skills from paper to cardboard mock-up and from mock-up to computer and prototypes. We like to focus on the way we use daily items and how to make them playful, lovable and meaningful.

What was your inspiration for your creative toy “Citron, kiwi et poire”?

“Citron, kiwi et poire” is a set of 4 junctions in elastomer that you can combine to create a hut, a goal, or anything you want.  For this project we wanted to create a kids product. We searched a lot but felt like sometimes kids prefers the packaging rather than the toys, so we had to dive into our childhood memories to think outside of the box. Quickly, we focused on the contact with nature, we remembered our adventures in the forest and how fun were those afternoon in short trousers.

The inspiration came from our childhood and the time that we have spent building makeshift hut with a few wood sticks and some strings. Most of the time, we had plenty of branches but we were lacking strings to link up the different parts of the shed. That’s how we had the idea of a set of junctions that would allow you to easily build a shed even without strings.

We wanted to create a system like the games of our childhood (Lego, Duplo, Meccano, etc.) and let the creativity of the kids run wild. With “Citron, kiwi et poire” the kids can build scale one sheds without anything hindering their imagination.

Our concept allows the kids to easily build up sheds in many shapes and style. All you need is a few wood sticks randomly found in the forest, then you can interlock them in our junctions, everything will stand in place thanks to magnets and adjustment rings.

Playful design for kids – what does that mean for you?

The most important thing is to allow the kids to dream and stimulate their imagination at the fullest.

For us, the design language of the product should be simple, safe and especially playful. Any child should be able to own it immediately but also be intrigued and amused by it. The best way to keep a child captivated is to engage him in a renewable challenge with the product (build a bigger or higher shed, upgrade it, etc.).

It’s also a great motto to keep in mind for adults.

Do you have children of your own? If so, how do they respond to Citron, kiwi et poire.

As we are quite young we don’t have any children yet but when the time comes we hope to give them our product and let them pass the crash test! We don’t know if we would be more worried for our kids or for our prototypes…

For the moment, we try to keep our kids spirit and improvise from it.

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