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Playing with senses: Perceptible chess game by Makiko Shinoda

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What makes a toy a good toy? Room for sensory discovery, imagination and creativity. Research that Makiko Shinoda has done on the relationship between children and their toys shows that these elements are not found as often in plastic toys or computer games in which form and function are standardized. But there is a different way. A universal toy set that evolves over time and with a child’s age.

While toddlers can use the set as building blocks, older children can play chess with it. A game of chess as a metaphor in which generations, cultures, ethnicities can meet. The pieces in the game do not look like chess pieces; they vary in weight, smell, material, form and texture and this allows the players to mould the game in whichever way they choose. A toy for a lifetime.


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Words: Courtesy of Makiko Shinoda
Photos: Kristof Vrancken