There are still some people who underestimate this sort of design, deeming it nothing more than an exercise in colours, rounded shapes and miniaturised versions of adults’ objects of desire. They may be dying out, though, judging by how many brands and designers take a serious approach these days to a whole range of issues that involve education, gender difference, ecology and emotions when creating furnishings and spaces in which our children can grow, experiment, and share experiences. In order to become independent men and women.
The intention is to overcome the distinction between the way in which adults and children see things, starting with the space, fluid and dynamic naturally, designed around the development of the youngest children. It doesn’t matter how much there is, what really matters is conceiving a structured and coloured world, perhaps with a “magic room” effect for the youngest.
Rather like the sort of room Vitra and Artek might dedicate to the liveliest and most curious children. It would be a multicoloured realm – in pastel shades so as not to overexcite them – with essential pieces such as the Panton Junior chairs with their soft design, rounded lines and sorbet-like colours, Alvar Aalto’s versatile and safe Children's Table round, which can be traded up as the children grow, the Hang It All pop coat rack by Charles and Ray Eames, and the Wall Shelf 112, again by Aalto, which teach the youngest to keep things tidy. Then there’s Elihu the Elephant by George Nelson, a fun way of teaching children how to tell the time. Basically, a room conceived by the Masters as an arena for myriad adventures.