Some of the world’s most iconic designer furniture is distinctly cool comfort for today’s children. So how has this modern design evolution come about?
In 2004 it was the Italian company Magis, another design leader, who turned its attention to products for children. This, says owner Eugenio Perazza, came about because he could not find an appropriate desk for his two-year-old granddaughter, so he decided to invite designers into the Magis stable “who could think with the mind of a child.” The team that designed for the Magis Me Too collection included such revered names as Javier Mariscal, Marcel Wanders and Eero Aarnio. Perazza also consulted child-learning experts, such as psychologist Edward Melhuish. The result is a designer’s playground of delightful products that serve practical functions, but are also able to spark the imagination and responses of children.
In 2006, Habitat, having been acquired by Ikea’s parent company in 1992, re-established themselves as purveyors of fine modern furnishings for children with the launch of their VIP for Kids. The range drew on celebrity inspiration (designers, actors, an author, an astronaut, a yachtsman) to create a range of perfect childhood products. “We wanted to look at our children’s furniture as a fairly sophisticated range, a micro version of the quality materials and design that we use for adults,” says Senior Design Manager, Philippa Prinsloo. Even as late as 2007, Prinsloo says that the design team was identifying a gap in the market. “We looked around at different companies in the UK and the US and felt that we could still offer something for children that would be better.”
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