Our Manifesto

Poisson Rouge is a site for all children.

Neuro-typical, autistic, gifted, with and without learning difficulties. Of all ages. Poisson Rouge is multicultural, cosmopolitan and not gender specific.

A child is born with a taste for learning, a need to understand the world around them, in its complexity, but safely, in a trust-worthy and confidence-building environment. So playing is the very first serious activity one engages in (in passing, this renders obsolete the notion of “edutainment”) ! Poisson Rouge makes toys, that one can grab and manipulate and study and make one’s own, within a privileged environment.

Poisson Rouge is universal and timeless.

Poisson Rouge proposes activities for all ages, but easily accessible and not grouped by “level” or age-appropriateness, so one is free to navigate from one activity to the next without having to worry about the difficulty. A child instinctively knows if something is complicated or easy, but will like engaging within their comfort zone to relax as well as venture outside for stimulation, at their own pace, in the order they choose and that suits them that day. Poisson Rouge does not direct, does not control. One can go in and out of any activity as one pleases and thus control one’s own pathway – and progression.

Poisson Rouge doesn’t insult its visitors’ intelligence. Poisson Rouge is not judgemental.

Poisson Rouge doesn’t try to teach, but offers a play-and-learn environment suitable for free exploration. There is no right or wrong way to play. So there is no negative feedback, no other reward than the pleasure of exploration, the mental processes themselves – and a few eye and ear candies. This brings pride in one’s own achievements and self-confidence, which together form the essential basis for emotional and intellectual development.

Poisson Rouge, however, rests on a woven background of research and theories of cognitive science and educational psychology: acquisition of a mother tongue, of a second language, Piaget and his stages of development, constructivism, Vygotsky and the social and contextual dimension of development and learning, the Montessori approach of providing free learning tools and her concept of sensitive period, cerebral imaging and what it can reveal about transferable skills as well as other works derived from it in the field of basic reading, writing and arithmetics skills acquisition. So Poisson Rouge is also a research lab!

Poisson Rouge has art, humour, colour, cheerfulness – and calm.

Poisson Rouge is an artistic creation. The graphical environment and sound-scape are essential. Red Fish uses and plays on film and theatre processes and techniques. Poisson Rouge is based on a solid understanding of images, how they are created as well as their impact on the viewer and their language. Poisson Rouge is not realistic but allows to project oneself in a coherent world that has special relationships to the real world. The graphics are easy and colourful, the sound-scape is happy, but discreet – or even silent as needed. Everything is useful and can spring to life but attention is not overstimulated. Poisson Rouge invites not only the development of the creativity that is within each of us, but creates a stage for it while introducing to a rich artistic culture.

Poisson Rouge doesn’t exclude or isolate anyone.

Far from confining visitors in a world apart, or within themselves, Poisson Rouge promotes communication, the desire to share one’s discoveries, achievements, and by valuing the self, opens to the outside world. As there is no identifying character, the hero of the site is the user. The main character of Poisson Rouge is him and is her!

Edith Furon, Poisson Rouge, April 2013

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