‘Werkelküche’ is a workshop that imitates a playground and a kitchen; moreover, it offers diverse possibilities to play. The only limitation would be children’s imagination. They can cook, wash the dishes, or start a car race sliding down the curved worktop. Whereas in side compartments, they can find a shelter to hide their stuff or bake make-believe muffins. For Christine Oehme, a designer of the project and a mum, it was vital to create a gender-fluid space where kids would not need to play with gender-segregated toys. When Christine and her partner bore their child, they faced social norms. However, the designer decided to tackle traditional images and stereotypes linked to objects, toys, and clothes. While researching and communicating with parents on the topic of playgrounds, the woman intertwined the formal and aesthetic features of a kitchen and a workbench using contemporary manufacturing methods of design.
“With ‘Werkelküche’ I wanted to erase any links between toys and gender. People often attribute particular colours, shapes, or tools to a specific gender, thereby, various clichés and stereotypes cling to us through childhood into adulthood. I knew that the space would open up a new range of options where kids would copy the grown-ups’ life and find new angles to have fun. Having started to design ‘Werkelküche,’ I tried to create attractive and interchangeable tools that would help kids to realize their ideas.”
Contemporary Lynx is a proud media partner of Łódź Design Festival 2021. We have been publishing a series of articles on innovative and talented designers who have been finalists of the make me! 2021 – an international design contest for young designers at the Łódź Design Festival.