Wende Features Toy Designer Renate Müller

Recent visitors to the Wende Museum may have noticed a new open storage display featuring several unusual children’s toys. These are the enchanting works of East German designer Renate Müller. Born in 1945, Müller has been a pioneer in the creation of children’s toys, crafting delightful pieces that are also valuable therapeutic tools.

From humble beginnings in her parents’ toy factory, Müller produced a range of toys designed to assist children in psychiatry and orthopedics. Her creations, presented for the first time at the Leipzig Trade Fair in 1967, quickly drew attention for their therapeutic potential. Soon after, these engaging pieces were being used in children’s clinics and therapeutic institutions across the country.

Müller’s toys are renowned for their soft yet robust construction and friendly appearances. Her unique use of contrasting materials invites children to explore different textures while simultaneously aiding in their sensory exercises, balance training, and hand-eye coordination practice.

Even beyond her innovative therapeutic toys, Müller’s impact reached far and wide across East Germany, as she also designed numerous playgrounds, creating spaces where children could freely explore and enjoy their world.

Müller’s designs won accolades in design competitions in the 1970s and were even featured in MoMA’s 2012 exhibition, Century of the Child: Growing by Design, 1900–2000.

We invite you to visit the Wende and peek into the whimsical world of Renate Müller!

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