<a><strong>Up, Down and All Around: Daniel Emma for Kids</strong></a>

Up, Down and All Around: Daniel Emma for Kids

Up, Down and All Around: Daniel Emma for Kids is an all-ages exhibition designed by acclaimed Australian design studio Daniel Emma (helmed by Daniel To and Emma Aiston) in collaboration with the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) and supported by Major Partner Officeworks.

Constituting the studio’s first ever design project created especially for children, the exhibition features iconic Daniel Emma furniture and decor, as well as experiential zones with both multimedia and hands-on design challenges that invite participants to create their very own designs and discover the role of design in the world they live in.

The exhibition is underpinned by Daniel Emma’s design ethos – that inspiration can be found all around us, in everyday items and life experiences. The exhibition activities encourage young minds to see design possibilities in unexpected places, such as food items or geometric shapes. Children can exercise their creative thinking and use their problem-solving skills when they draw new objects from plates of food, build new structures using geometric forms and imagine new images from existing shapes.

The centrepiece of the exhibition is the drawing-based activity Inspiration Train. Participants sit around an installation inspired by conveyor belt-style sushi trains that conveys a myriad of different plates of food. Inspired by the provocation – “You see a peanut; we see a table!” – young audiences are challenged to take a piece of fruit, an ice cream or a bowl of fried rice and turn it into a design drawing for a chair, a table lamp or whatever their imagination conjures.

The multimedia activity Stack a Snack explores what happens when cake ingredients are swapped out for green grass, red lava, grey concrete and more. This playful interactive activity encourages everyone to play with unexpected materials, explore the senses and make new combinations to design their very own digital layer ‘cake’.

Funny Face Maker is a hands-on activity designed by Daniel Emma especially for toddlers and young children. Kids and their families can create endless funny faces by selecting and arranging from Daniel Emma’s sets of sparkly and colourful shapes. Participants are invited to explore different feelings and facial expressions and then photograph the results.

Also for younger audiences, Build ‘Em Up invites curious minds to play, stack and build with colourful sets of upholstered geometric forms designed by Daniel Emma. Like making a house with bricks, children are challenged to design and build new objects with these spheres, rectangular prisms and cubes.

Industrial designers Daniel To and Emma Aiston established design studio Daniel Emma in 2008. Working collaboratively, their projects range from objects and furniture to installations and exhibitions. They design products for leading brands, including Hay and Petite Friture, as well as producing their own range of furnishings and small objects. They have exhibited widely both nationally and internationally, including in Melbourne Design Week and the Rigg Design Prize. Their works are represented in the NGV Collection.

Tony Ellwood AM, Director, NGV, said: ‘Through playful problem solving and creative challenges, Up, Down and All Around: Daniel Emma for Kidswill inspire the next generation of budding designers. Created by South Australian design studio Daniel Emma exclusively for NGV audiences, this playful exhibition will introduce young minds to the world of design through kid-friendly design-based activities, concepts and ideas. It is rare for a children’s exhibition to focus on developing early design literacy, which makes this world-premiere exhibition a truly unique – and impactful – offering in the Australian cultural landscape.’

Up, Down and All Around: Daniel Emma for Kids is on display from 2 June – 8 October 2023 at NGV International, St Kilda Road, Melbourne. Free entry. For further information, please visit the NGV website: NGV.MELBOURNE