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Pico Pao – games without rules

twentytwentyone is pleased to introduce two games from Pico Pao. Pico Pao is a workshop with a long history of craftsmanship. 

Pico Pao – games without rules

It began in 1979 in Lubián, a small Spanish village nestled in the mountains on the border with Portugal. Pico Pao is the name of the local woodpecker who can be seen (and heard) in the valley where the workshop originated.

The workshop began in an old house whose poor inhabitants used their ingenuity to be able to make use of any material they came across to make finely crafted children’s toys. Here were made the first wooden replicas of old-fashioned toys, along with reproductions of old cameras and copies of traditional, pre-industrial looms. 

Today Pico Pao is in the process of re-founding the workshop and focusing its activity on designing and perfecting original games. The newer games, which belong to the collection Ludus Ludi, are notable for their lack of rules. The games can be viewed more as exquisite raw materials for experimentation, for the stimulation of abstract thought, for the interpretation of random discovery and for the playful enjoyment of the senses through direct contact with artistic objects.

Las Sillas game consists of 15 schematic and unadorned, almost skeletal chairs. The chairs can be piled up, stacked, left scattered on the floor or grouped into random shapes of difficult equilibrium. El Balacin game is a collection of seemingly arbitrary shapes which can be used for stacking, building and balancing.

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