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Trend Research: Playful Home - KiDesign

As in other consumer sectors, fashion for example, design is also called to respond to the demands and needs of little ones. Many companies have included actual miniature design pieces in their collections, and brands are surfacing that specifically target mini-consumers

When the Think & Shift studio was commissioned to design a chair specifically for the New Zealand New Shoots childcare centres, the designers immediately realised that they would have to completely rethink their approach to ergonomics and comfort. Given half a chance, the children use the chairs in every conceivable way: head down, kneeling, crouching, alone or with others, sideways … 

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This is how the Hideaway Chair came into being; not a scaled-down version of an adult chair, but an enveloping shell that becomes a little ecosystem where children can hide away from the surrounding environment and rest or play in private and in peace. Designed with the onus on solidity and eco-sustainability, its shorter than normal legs make children think the chair was designed specifically for them.  

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This accounts for the fact that the inside is covered with soft wool and has easily removed and replaceable panels, making it more comfortable and secure. The space between the semi-circular wooden sections that make up the structure allows any dirt to fall through and the extreme naturalness and quality of the materials does not detract from the strength necessary to “survive” the hammering that children give it.

The chair can also grow with the child, in that longer legs are available and, whilst its design is inviting and relaxing for little ones, its multifaceted and contemporary surface also appeals to older children.

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Modern Family is a range of pendant lights created by Plumen to lend a cheerful touch to children’s bedrooms or playrooms. The collection was sparked by a collaboration with Croatian designer Jagoda Jurisic, who covers the wires of the lamp holder with jolly handmade felt bunting at her Berry Bright Factory in Zagreb.

Five colour combinations are available, including a rainbow version, a pastel version, a monochrome one featuring a single coloured flag, and amusing animal prints. The decorated wires can be twisted as desired and can take on different shapes according to both the available space and the whim of the moment.

The Colour Me Happy version also serves an educational purpose, because the flags in secondary colours are positioned next to the primary colours from which they derive. All the pendants are of course compatible with the elongated and sculptural energy-saving light bulbs for which Plumen is famous.

Uuio is a recently established German design studio that specialises in designing contemporary children’s furnishings, characterised by high quality materials and rigorously good craftsmanship. Its design philosophy shows that it is not necessarily a playful or cute appearance that makes a piece of furniture into a piece of children’s furniture and that furnishings designed with children in mind can become an integral part of family life by responding also to the needs of adults. 

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This informs the designers’ choice of classic and timeless designs for their creations, which also respond to childhood needs in a smart and innovative way. The collection’s pièce de résistance is the VII bed, made of solid oak with angled contrasting wooden spindles, which lend a slightly asymmetrical look to the head and foot of the bed. 

The slats can be replaced with coloured custom elements that help support the frame, and the bed is adjustable and can therefore grow with the child. The range also includes chairs, tables and highchairs that combine functionality, durability and comfort, in which the technical details become elegant stylish elements