Great news for all the Design lovers : some smart people are cooking up an exclusive project around children’s design, to be displayed during Milano Mobile in April. Exactly what that vibrant, exciting and very international furniture fair was missing.
“Kids room – ZOOM! is a special home exclusively designed for children, staged and curated by unduetrestella founder Paola Noé together with Austrian children’s furniture designer Thomas Maitz. The project provides a snapshot of contemporary design for children and aims at moving this young, emerging creative scene into the center of public attention. An elegant apartment on the third floor of a residential building, located in an exclusive area in the heart of Milan, will open its doors to international design for children as well as to contemporary artists, publishers and food installations“.
The exhibitors, carefully selected, come from all over the world; some well established, some less known. The list includes byBODesign, Collect Furniture, Jaell und Tofta, Kalon Studios, Kidsonroof, Liliane, Momoll, Ninetonine, Nonjetable, Perludi, White Elephant Design Lab.
National Geographic photo contest is an endless trip around the world; it’s fun to browse through the archive with children. For those who share a passion for photography, there is a kid’s contest and they can submit their best shots to http://kids-myshot.nationalgeographic.com/. Above, from the adult’s contest, below from the kid’s section.
Yes, there is now a Foodie Bible for Kids: Food is Fun by Anorak. It’s the healthy option this Christmas for all foodies and artists in the kitchen, the bible you will need to get inspired and excited about food. Fun recipes (“Super Easy Cake a Monkey could Make”), foodie games (“Spot how many ‘chews’ you can find in Chew-Ville”), vegetable profiles (“I am not a maniac, I am a celeriac!”), a brief history of the fork, what to do with tarts and toasts, yummy word searches and plenty plenty more. Designed by award winning artist Supermundane (Anorak’s art director) and written by not-award-winning-yet Cathy Olmedillas (Anorak’s mum). Suitable for the whole family and for little foodies over 5. 160 pages- £15. Check it here.
A blog that everyone should check when it comes to going around the planet with children, BozAround is worth bookmarking for good tips about anything related to travel including products, itinerary, addresses and interviews. Check out Munster Kids on Vietnam, Nui Organics on New Zeeland, Wovenplay on New York, Fournier on Bolivia…and also Pirouette on the Swiss Mountains. A mine of precious information and a pleasant way to travel vicariously through other family experiences, most of them in the children’s industry.
It is a premiere : a glossy fashion magazine loaded with articles about family; a bit like an auction house (PBA, Pierre Berge&Associates) focusing on Kids design…signs of the times!
“We are a family” writes Stefano Tonchi in the editor’s letter of the December issue of W Magazine. “A quick scan of the newsstand confirms what trend experts have been forecasting for years now : America is in love with babies.” Tonchi, who spent a few years as the chief editor of the NY Times Styles Magazine, has a lot of nose and great talent. Since he took over W magazine, the large glossy format has turned into a bible loaded with food for thought, exciting fashion and cultural news; a place to meet the trendiest people and products. Tonchi reminds that W is not in the business of social research, but that the magazine attempts to mirror what’s happening in the culture at large (which is what I personally expect from the magazines I read, even fashion ones…). This wonderful issue is a great reflexion of what family means today, featuring Jeff Koons, Madonna, The Fendis, the Freuds, Sofia Coppola, as well as inspiring pictures from Paolo Roversi styled by Alex White (photos above and below).
I am coming back to THE event of the year : a first-time auction fully dedicated to kids’ design and furniture, held by PBA Auctions in Brussels on December 16th. On a post from October 27th, I featured some of the amazing vintage pieces that will be on sale (see it here). Those include pieces from design masters such as Jean Prouve, Luigi Colani, Arne Jacobsen, Harry Bertoia, Hans Wegner or Charles Eames, as well as anonymous pieces. Apart from its focus on children’s pieces, what makes this auction sale so attractive is the window on contemporary pieces, from a younger generation of designers, some well established (Richard Hutten, Maarten Baas, Yoshitomo Nara) and others quite new on the design scene (design of the XXI century). Project pieces and prototypes by Nika Zupanc, Alain Berteau, Karen Ryan, Nicolas Destino, Lucas Massen are particularly innovative and fun. Above, the humorous and playful chairs by Guy Brown.
I have to say that one lot really caught my attention: “7 Porcelain dolls with imperfections“, the Graduation project of Daphna Isaacs at the Design Academy of Eindhoven (2006).
“As a little girl I got one of the first dolls with long brown hair. Identifying with her she became my favourite doll. Dolls represent the way we view babies, children and adults. They brigde the gap between reality and fantasy and are as such very popular. Shape and colour are the main ingredients determing the emotions, dolls evoke. The susceptible child however is subjected to an idealized beauty concept, which doesn’t always match reality. The seven porcelain dolls represent imperfections, commonly ignored in our over-idealized concept of beauty. The way we are marked in real life, is reflected in the complexity of doll processing: in particular unpredictable mouldseams, deformations, shrinkage, cracks and uncontrolled colouring. These very occurences are exploited to characterize each doll uniquely“.
Toys manufacturers have made recent efforts to bring a better representation of ethnic groups to the market. It would be interesting to know if Daphna’s questioning will have a resonance on the toys of the XXI century.
www.pba-auctions.com – www.daphnaisaacs.nl
Three little booklets accordion folded, one for a child’s birth, one for ideas and one for travels. You can draw pictures, write little notes and memories, add stickers or stamps, decorate and color the pages and then keep them in their lovely box for future reading. This Plibook collection is a great gift idea for young parents or for children in age to draw and write. Dim 9 x 18 cm | 38 pages, 14,00 €. By Carole Daprey, founder of Piqpoq Editions and author of Mobilier design pour enfants.
Available here, and at the following stores : Boucle D’Or Brussels, Little Circus Brussels, Balouga Paris, Lieu Commun Paris, Serendipity Paris, V&A Museum of childhood, London, Marre des Epinards, Montreux.
Located in Le Marais – Paris, Lieu Commun is a wonderful place for design lovers. Visiting last week, I discovered a great series of books by Marti Guixé, edited by Corraini. 18€ each.
Martí Guixé was born in 1964 in Barcelona. He studied Interior design in Barcelona and Industrial design at the Politecnico in Milan. He lives and works “on living matter” between Barcelona and Berlin, dedicating himself to the invention of “bright and simple ideas made of a curious seriousness”; he considers himself an “ex-designer” and works for firms such as Camper, Chupa-Chups, Desigual, Droog Design, Saporiti and Watx. He has exhibited at the MoMA in New York, the Design Museum in London, the MACBA in Barcelona and the Centre Pompidou in Paris.”
BLANK BOOK : “Blank Book is an “empty book” that offers unlimited possible solutions to be “filled in”; it’s not a “book-to-be-read”, but a “book-to-be-created”.
FOOD BOOK : “After Blank Book and Tattoo Book, let’s draw fragrant pastas, delicious meats and succulent desserts in Martí Guixé’s new book: Food Book!
Each page is a tasty graphical suggestion to be “filled in” by each fellow dinner, from the starters to the coffee, satisfying the desires of the very moment or conceiving an elaborate menu.
No matter if you love traditional or exotic cuisine, Food Book is a banquet on paper with your favourite courses, and also the right way to improvise in cooking without any risk…
Food Book is a big size book, both for adults and children, funny and ironic thanks to its simplicity and lightness.
Not a “book-to-be-read” but a “book-to-be-created”, task of the one who flicks through the pages is to prepare each time a different menu by filling dishes and glasses with colours and shapes, just following the rules of his personal originality.
TATOO BOOK : “Therapeutic, religious, ritual, punitive, challenging, erotic, fashioned, magic, aesthetic, ornamental, symbolic, ambiguous, hidden, evident…
Marilyne, Valerie and Gael are three entrepreneurs, and two of them also Montessori teachers. Their small company Les Trois Elles Interactive recently launched an educational iPad application to teach children to learn how to count, based on the Montessori Method. Huge fans of children’s books, the trio’s idea was to reconcile the feeling of a book with the magic of iPad. In collaboration with a talented illustrator and friend: Jean-Jean, using paper collage technics feel, they created « Collage-like » almost vintage drawings that have captured the hearts of parents straight away.
Tam & Tao in Numberland offers a refreshing rupture from typical app design on the iPhone or iPad, with sophisticated graphics, and leads children through 10 different “worlds”, one for each number, each time offering them writing activities, counting activities and Montessori material. It is bilingual French and English so that children can learn in two languages at the same time. This is a digital learning book that stimulates children’s senses enabling them to “do to understand”, ultimately leading to enhanced concentration and comprehension. It teaches children numbers in the most natural way, with the Montessori material.
The app is for iPad and will very soon be on iPhone too (planned beginning of december)
Children love scary stories. “Baba Yaga and the stolen baby” has been released this year by Editor Frances Lincoln. It made me think of Julie Klear (from Zid Zid Kids) mentioning Baba Yaga as one of her – and her children’s – favorites. Julie kindly sent me a scan of her own book, released by Scholastic in 1970. The book is taken from ‘A Ghost a Witch and a Goblin’ Three Folktales. Julie says :
“The words ‘Baba Yaga’ immediately strikes a chilling fear into any child and adult for that matter. Based on very old Russian folktales, she is a very colorul, extremely ugly and horrifying witch who lives in a little house that stands on chicken legs. She has iron (!) teeth and is known far and wide to eat children. What I love about her is how she gets around. According to the legends, she sits in a big mortar and pushes it along with the pestle. She then uses her broom to sweep her tracks away! Be careful if you should happen in her way, she will certainly play a nastry trick on you, such as trap you as a prisioner to become her lunch….”. Illustration by Rosalind Fry.
Pigs and cows are curious animals, often a source of attraction for young kids. How unusual to see them outside their muddy context, all clean and brushed posing on satin backgrounds. A fun way to bring nature and urban sophistication together, and a good way for children to look at living creature under a different angle.
Frances Lincoln Books – Photo Andrew Perris – Beautiful Cows by Valerie Porter, ISBN 9780711230811 – Beautiful Pigs by Andy Case, ISBN 9780711230590
Also available on Amazon.com