Playful Design at the DX with This Is Not a Toy

Last week the Design Exchange unveiled their new exhibit This Is Not a Toy, the world’s first exhibition to explore the conceptual toy. As the exhibit’s title suggests, a conceptual toy is a form made solely as an expression of an aesthetic, concept or idea – as an art and design object as well as a contemporary cultural signifier. Call it the evolution of pop art.

As another first, the DX worked closely with Pharrell Williams — singer-songwriter, rapper, record producer, fashion designer and drummer — to guest curate the exhibit.  (Looks like he can add “museum curator” to his bio.)  Many of the show’s major pieces, including the Beatles and Daft Punk, are on loan from Pharrell’s personal collection.

DX ThisIsNotaToy Beatles

DX ThisIsNotaToy Daft Punk

The collection includes contemporary sculptures, figurines and artworks created by artists including Takashi Murakami, KAWS, FriendsWithYou, Coarse, Huck Gee, and Frank Kozik.  Some Community Agency staff attended the VIP opening, and we can promise you’ll find it whimsical, colourful and downright fun. So much so, you can almost hear Pharrell’s Oscar-nominated tune “Happy” playing somewhere in the distance.

DX ThisIsNotaToy  1

The art toy has moved between figurine, sculpture, installation, painting and inflatable with ease. Pulp and Fiber’s own co-founder and partner, David Smulowitz, has been a fan of the conceptual toy for years.  In addition to his building his own burgeoning collection, David was behind an office design challenge of the MUNNY doll.  Here’s Dave with one of his prize pieces, a limited edition Black Heart of Gold Dunny by artist Tara McPherson.

DX ThisIsNotaToy 2

This Is Not a Toy is open to the public through May 17, 2014 at the Design Exchange.  #ThisIsNotaToy

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