There’s something refreshing about products catering to children that don’t depend on tech-heavy bells and whistles or garish bright colors to capture, and keep, the attention of the little ones. London-based studio Yang:Ripol opted for a pared-down approach for Flat Zoo, a tot toy that consists of little more than a few sheets of printed plywood and a rubber band.
“We seek to design objects which are simple, de-cluttered, but with a poetic story or a point of sensibility,” cofounder Claudio Ripol tells Co.Design. “This project was the result of an exploration into minimalistic toys, trying to avoid being overly explicit.” It was important to him and partner Yeonju Yang that kids recognized the animals, which were chosen because their unique silhouettes worked together in the set. Five different species in varying shapes and sizes are represented on the sheets of three-millimeter-thin plywood, covered in criss-crossing veneer that keeps them stiff and sturdy. Playing is a simple matter of mixing, matching, shuffling, flipping, rearranging, and securing to create new kinds of adorable frankenbeasts–like, say, an owl with the ears of a mouse and flippers of a penguin. The production process is “on its way,” says Ripol, so keep an eye out.