LET’S PLAY, a novel game by the artistic director Christiane Nill and the photographer Lionel Henriod.

100 Swiss designers, architects and artists have been called upon to construct something out of old-fashioned wooden building blocks, constrained only by a few simple rules.

Over five years, Christiane and Lionel have taken LET’S PLAY to every corner of Switzerland. The selection of the players was subjective and based on a desire to reflect the various creative tendencies and currents present in every region of the country. Some of these players are established international figures; others are just beginning their careers.

Prior to a player’s arrival and while Lionel is setting up the mobile studio, Christiane carefully arranges the 270 blocks on a table and then covers them with a black sheet. This mise-en-place once completed, the player is ushered in to be photographed against a white backdrop. The sheet is then removed and the blocks are revealed. The game can now begin.

Each player has just thirty minutes to design and build a structure. Players can use some or all of the available pieces, but they must also incorporate three blocks chosen by the player who precedes them – though they can hide these within their structure if they wish. These three pieces constitute a sort of relay baton linking the players to each other, while also providing them with a stimulus as a point of departure. The playing surface on which they build their constructions  is a rectangle. Once completed, their creation is photographed and then placed alongside their portrait to form a diptych.

The game’s wooden blocks are more than merely incidental; they are among the very oldest known play items and as such are richly evocative of childhood for all of us.

You can find in the book designers, architects and artists like John Armleder, Atelier Oï, Dimitri Bähler, Big-Game, Jörg Boner, Carlo Clopath, Christa De Carouge, Alfredo Häberli, Trix & Robert Haussmann, Shirana Shahbazi,…

Copyright images © Christiane Nill & Lionel Henriod
Text from the press release.

Concept and art direction / Christiane Nill
Photography / Lionel Henriod
Text/ Michel Thévoz
Biographies of the players / Susanna Koeberle
Graphic design / Atelier Cocchi
Editors / Till Schaap Edition-Genoud & Visarte Vaud
Prepress & Printing / Genoud SA
Languages / English, German, French
Pages / 288