Alexandra Lange
Architecture & design critic

Playing With Design: Fredun Shapur

In recent years, designs for children by modern masters like Bruno Munari, Charles and Ray Eames and Alexander Girard have been brought forward, their diminutive audience seen not as undermining but attractive. We should add Fredun Shapur to that pantheon of designers of winning and sculptural objects for children. Shapur’s work was produced by an international array of manufacturers, including Naef, Trendon, Galt Toys, Fischerform and Selecta, but he is best known for transforming Creative Playthings’ logo, packaging and products.

As historian Amy F. Ogata writes in the new book Fredun Shapur: Playing With Design (edited by daughter Mira Shapur), “Shapur produced toys that highlighted and challenged the child’s agency while appealing to the parents’ tastes.” This is a point Ogata made, in greater detail, in her 2013 book Designing the Creative Child: Playthings and Places in Midcentury America, reviewed here.