MODUTOY – play furniture by Theo Fischer Ginman and Jonathan Rasmussen

Why you design play furniture for children?

We tend to think of ourselves as big kids, and we have a very playful approach to design and development. Making toys for kids is the most fun and exciting thing we could ever imagine doing!

What was your inspiration for your MODUTOY?

Coming from the LEGO country, Denmark, it is obvious that the small ingenious brick has been a big inspiration, but the idea started when we learned how big of a problem physical inactivity among kids has become. No wonder, when you look at how much time kids spend with tablets. We want to change this by encouraging kids and parents to active and open-ended play – that was always the prime mover behind the invention of MODU.

How children respond to your play furniture?

Excellently! We have been doing user testing from the very beginning, observing children and parents interacting with the very first prototypes and participating proactively throughout the development. This has helped us refine the product to what it is today. Every time kids play with MODU, they invent new creations and find new ways to interact with the toy that we could not have imagined ourselves. Kids are just awesome!

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

Besides the obvious things about safe and non-toxic materials, we believe that sustainability should be incorporated directly into the functionality of the product. This is what we have embeded in MODU; it can be used for many years due to its many functionalities – a toy that grows with the child. Additionally, we also care deeply about children’s rights, and believe that free, open-ended play should be accessible to every kid in the world.

A few personal questions at the end: What toys did you play with as a child? Did you have a favorite toy?

Being Danes, LEGO has been a very big part of our childhood, and we still play with LEGO’s to this day! We are also huge fans of the BRIO railway systems and growing up we spend a lot of time outdoors at playgrounds playing with different activity toys like ride-ons, rocking horses and balancing boards. Many of these functions can also be found in our MODU toy – just better suited for indoor play.

And subsequently: What toy do you think is a completely superfluous?

This probably sounds like a cliché, but kids today use way too much time on tablets, phones and television. We don’t claim that there are no benefits from using tablets, but the ‘distribution of play’ is completely off. We like to think of MODU as our way of rebelling against the digital pacifiers of today.

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