Tuesday 26 Aug 2014

The National Gallery of Victoria's Children's Gallery has been given over to the creative talents of Melbourne-based Italian design duo Erika Zorzi and Matteo Sangalli of Mathery Studio. The pair were commissioned to conceptualise and design a new immersive kids space focused on transforming perception surrounding the simple act of drawing.

The project has been named ‘Pastello', derived from the Italian translation for pastel or crayon, which is the key material behind the design's concept. Crayons are essentially wax forms, which can be melted and moulded. The designers saw the potential in the material and so created a range of simple moulds from everyday objects, used to decorate the space.

There are three distinct zones within the gallery, all celebrating the crayon as a drawing device, but each offering a different experience. In the ‘Body Drawing' area kids don crayon helmets to draw with their heads and wear strap-on shoes with crayons attached to the soles where you can sit or lie down and swing your feet about to colour the wall. In the central area, they are invited to ‘rub' paper cards on plywood sculptures covered with coloured protuberances which are in fact crayons. On the table, handmade crayon coated cutlery and ropes can be used to draw their favourite dish. Finally in the left area, 9kg crayon spheres can be rolled in donut shaped benches and drawings can also be made using crayon swing pendulums.

The designers unified each space in their selection of materials, colours and floor coverings so that the three are connected, creating an area that is bright, fun and stimulating, allowing children to break out of their comfort zone and to become active protagonists in the physical act of drawing. 

Erika and Matteo explain: "The idea of drawing with other parts of your body, on walls and on floors, will have immense appeal to children and adults alike. We wanted to create a fun, memorable and playful space that would encourage children to think outside the box to reconsider the act of drawing."

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