The Playsam Streamliner car is an iconic Swedish desk toy that’s been in production since 1984.  The company describes itself as “a haven for contemporary, cosmopolitan, classic design. Simply put, Playsam are Scandinavian design at its finest.” Wikipedia describes Scandinavian design as “a design movement characterized by simple designs, minimalism, functionality, and low-cost mass production.”

When an object has its own history of 28 years and ties in with a design movement that emerged in the 1950s, it seems to me like that object should be respected. In the 2006 show, industrial designer Khodi Feiz turned his PLAYSAM into an aerodynamic dome as a shout-out to the legendary Buckminster Fuller. Richard Holbrook created his car in the PLAYSAM tradition of woodgrain and gloss, but gave it a simple, yet distinctly Californian upgrade: a rooftop rack with a surfboard. Alfredo Häberli had an internal dialogue about altering the PLAYSAM’s perfection: “For me, with admiration and respect, the only questions that were raised when asked to participate in this event were ‘Should I be allowed to change such an archtype design? Is it not beautiful enough?'” He painted three glossy race cars so he could pick up and go for a drive with PLAYSAM designers Ulf Hanses and Carl Zedig.

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