Only members can participate in our design competitions, so join now and create your solution to a social challenge.

Become A Member
Blue_elephants1_thumb_57 Comp-gallery

Child’s Play


Competition Brief

Design an affordable object or a series of objects that a child can play with in which the function is more suggestive than prescriptive and is open to interpretation. The object can be of any scale. The objective is to inspire the child to derive his/her own associations and invent their own interaction or way of playing with the object.

You must specify which age group your design is aimed at and how your scheme takes into account the cognitive developmental stage of that age group. In addition to the design brief, your scheme should also demonstrate environmental responsibility, whether through material selection, production techniques or potential for recycling or reuse.

Judging Criteria

In addition to criteria outlined in Rules, appraisal will be given on how effectively the scheme is tailored to the age group it is designed for.


1st prize: $5000

2nd prize: $3000

3rd prize: $1500

Most Popular prize: $500


Allison Arieff (USA) works in the realms of architecture, sustainability and media as Senior Content Lead for IDEO. She also writes the “Living Design” column for The New York Times. From 2002-2006, Arieff was the Editor-in-Chief of Dwell, and was the magazine’s founding senior editor. Under her tenure, Dwell won the National Magazine Award for General Excellence in 2005, the industry’s highest honor. Arieff is the author of the books Prefab, Trailer Travel: A Visual History of Mobile America and Spa.

Monica Förster (Sweden) is creator of some of the most internationally renowned objects and furniture in contemporary Swedish design today. Her work is categorized by a strong sense of pure form mixed with a neverending curiosity for new materials and technology. Her awards include Excellent Swedish Design, Design Plus in Germany and the FutureDesignDays Award, and her work appears in the International Design Yearbook. Monica Förster Studio works worldwide with clients such as Poltrona Frau, E&Y Japan, Offecct, Skruf and Tacchini.

Jean-Pierre Rossie, Ph. D. (Belgium) is an anthropologist, researcher and one of the founding members of the International Toy Research Association (ITRA). Based on personal ethnographic research in the Tunisian Sahara and Morocco, his work focuses on children’s play and toys in North Africa and the Sahara. He is the author of Toys, Play, Culture and Society: an anthropological approach with reference to North Africa and the Sahara. In 2001 in the framework of an exhibition on African toys organized by UNESCO, Rossie’s work served as a reference for research on the subject. Rossie has been a member of the Stockholm International Toy Research Center (SITREC) since 2002.

Krister Svensson (Sweden) is the director of the Stockholm International Toy Research Centre (SITREC) for multidisciplinary research on toys and play. Svensson’s interest is to analyze toys as a cultural code and its impact on children’s construction of meaning. Focusing on toys as “the materialised other” in children’s life, he is also interested in the subject of child safety and legislation linked to this.

About Competitions

The DESIGN 21 series challenges designers of all disciplines to find solutions to social and global issues. It’s guided by UNESCO’s premise that education, science, technology, culture and communication are tools to spread knowledge and information, build awareness and foster dialogue.

More About Competitions