Culture / Design

Going Small: 6 Designs for Kids

Whether its reintroducing an old design, or coming up with something playful and new, these are some of the best designed objects and furniture for kids.

May 06, 2016 | By Staff Writer

If sophisticated design of furniture or objects for adults is hard, then expanding that design to take into accounts kids is even harder. Not only must the same sense of form be there but there must also be an appeal to an innocence and playfulness that works for younger minds. Yet, some of the biggest names in the international design scene are taking up the challenge, creating objects that aim small, but stand large on their own as well. These are some of those designs:

Marcel Wanders

Marcel Wanders - High Chair

Marcel Wanders – High Chair

Invoking the ever malleable imagination of a child, designer Marcel Wanders has teamed up with baby and child equipment maker Cybex for a line known as the “Parents” collection. This furniture come in different guises, sporting various faces designed to titillate a young mind’s fancy.


Marcel Wanders – Baby Bouncer

Included in the collection is a mountable storage ‘pig’ with a large openable snout, a highchair with a friendly face, a baby bouncer finished in leather, and monster hand puppets to play with.

Marcel Wanders - Storage Pig

Marcel Wanders – Storage Pig


In the spirit of minimalism, Japanese design studio Nendo has designed a series of rocking horses made out of the simplest possible lines and form for Kartell. This was done with a twist on the shape of construction “H beams”, through raising the top into a bend to form the ‘head’ of the horse.

Nendo - H Horse

Nendo – H Horse

Also designed by them is the “Smile” collection, which are smiley-face stools with transparent polycarbonate legs and a top made from a thermoplastic technopolymer.

Philippe Starck

Philippe Starck - Lou Lou Ghost

Philippe Starck – Lou Lou Ghost

Also designed for Kartell is the “Airway” swing by Philippe Starck, also made out of transparent polycarbonate, giving it a feel as if swinging on air itself. In addition, one of Starck’s previous creations for children, the “Lou Lou Ghost” chair, can now be customized with a name and a personalized message.

Ferruccio Laviani

With the success of the Lego Movie and Minecraft from a while back having stirred up the joy of putting together toy blocks once again, Ferruccio Laviani’s new design seems to be reflective of that. The “ClipClap” table is a low table whose legs can be made from stacked blocks of transparent plastic. The tabletop is available with clear or “chalkboard” finishes.

Cassina’s Baby Utrecht

Cassina - Utrecht Chair

Cassina – Utrecht Chair

An iconic chair comes back minimized, literally. The Utrecht armchair was designed in 1935 by Dutch designer Gerrit Rietveld – known for its minimalist lines and white stitching. The children’s version captures the original’s elegant style, and also has an eco-leather finish in yellow, red, or blue colors.The Utrecht has been manufactured by Cassina since 1988 and is one of the 20th century’s design classics.

Gaetano Pesce’s Up

Gaetano Pesce - Up

Gaetano Pesce – Up

Another iconic chair is returning in a smaller version. The 1969 Up armchair (no relation to the Pixar film), designed by Gaetano Pesce, was originally an anti-sexism statement, juxtaposing generous curves mirroring chest and hips, with a footstool evoking a prisoner’s ball and chain. Ironically, its comfortable form has surpassed the original political message and it’s been sat on by both genders for all these years. Now it’s available for children aged three and over.

This story was written in-house, based on materials from an AFP compilation, including images.

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