Artist Dominic Wilcox Makes Children's Inventions a Reality

Family Scooter by Wendy Ridley
Family Scooter by Wendy Ridley / Family Scooter by Wendy Ridley

Every once in a while, kids demonstrate a stroke of genius—and that moment deserves to be documented. Designer and inventor Dominic Wilcox (known for his tools to make breakfast more fun and his Variations on Normal blog) traveled to his hometown in Sunderland, England and enlisted the help of some young, bright minds. Called INVENTORS!, the collection celebrates the brilliance of children.

As part of the project—commissioned by The Cultural Spring, a company that runs programs for English children to help them think creatively—Wilcox conducted 19 workshops for children ages 4 through 12. During the two-hour sessions, he talked about the process of invention and showed them some of his own creations for inspiration. He also visited a charity for children with disabilities called Ocean Arts, and enlisted the help of parents, teachers, and other adults.

The Liftolater by Charlotte Scott

At the end of the workshop tour, Wilcox had over 600 inventions submitted by over 450 Sunderland children. He picked the best 60 and brought them to local manufacturers and Sunderland’s Fab Lab, who met with the young inventors to discuss their sketches and what they envisioned for the finished product. Then, the young inventors had four weeks to create a prototype or computer visualization.

Some of the ideas are so simple and innovative, that you'll be kicking yourself for not thinking of it yourself—like the Pringles Hook, which lets you get to the chips without getting your hand stuck in the tube. Other ideas are just plain adorable, like the Family Scooter, which is a lot like a tandem bicycle.

Wilcox found an empty lot on Fawcett Street in Sunderland and rented it for the INVENTORS! exhibition. You can see all the ideas from now until January 30 or explore the designs here.

PringlesHook by Georgia Dinsley, made real by Andy Mattocks

Family Scooter by Wendy Ridley, made real by Roger O’Brian

Talking Lunch Box by Lorraine at Ocean Arts, made real by Alistair MacDonald

Leaf Catcher byElsie Ronald, made real by Roger O’Brian