Why you design furniture for children?
Actually, it was a first time when we designed a project for children, but we are sure that it will not be the last one, because we really enjoyed it! Children are much more creative than adults are and they are the best clients that ever designer may have. Designing products for children is a nice and educational experience for designer. It is pushes you to switch on divergent thinking to find a solution and open your mind. It’s not so easy to design a good product for kids that would not only be pretty and interact them but could be also useful in order to help children to develop essential skills and encourages their creativity.
What was your inspiration for play furniture Animaze?
From early childhood to adulthood, we love to play with puzzles and modular toys. These toys teach and prepare kids early in life for some very important life skills.
In case of Animaze, a puzzle was redesigned to become a kids-friendly furniture system. This playful multifunctional kit allows configuring different kids-friendly furniture combinations, both horizontal and vertical or use the modules separately. Each “animal” is composed of external module made of curved solid wood and an internal foam rubber, fabric covered module. The Animals become chairs, console table, pouf and even rocking horse with which is possible to entertain, interact and dream and discover new way of using elements.
How children respond to this play-furniture?
The project has exceeded all the expectations. Kids love it, and their parents too!
Children enjoy playing with poufs and every time discover new combinations and usage of Animaze elements. We were pleasantly surprised to see how kids find new application to modules, that we probably didn’t think about while working on a project. Kids give vent to the creativity by interacting with “animals” making stories, connections and building everyday something new.
While adults, see the kit also from a functional point of view, as the wooden modules offer storage for books and small toys. Thanks to its modularity, the kit is very useful in small apartments as a space-saving solution and parents appreciate this fact.
What toys did you play with as a child? Did you have a favourite toy?
Ekaterina: When I was a child, I always preferred some block or modular toys that I could transform, build new structures and create my own projects.
Libero: My favourite one was Lego that I really enjoyed playing when I was a kid. In my opinion, it is of the best construction toys sets that boosts creativity and helps to develop spatial skills of a child.
What toy do you think is a completely superfluous?
Commercial one season’s toys. Popular dolls or cartoon characters that become popular among kids at the speed of light and help companies make money, thanks to spin-off merchandise. These toys may be pretty but not really useful for kids.
If you look into a crystal ball and predict your future as a designer: what children’s product would you like to design next?
Ekaterina: I would like todesign a kids-friendly hydroponic planter that would show a child how nature works, teach him a responsibility in taking care of something and allow him to participate in all phases of a plant life cycle: from seed to plant. Kids are curios, so this project could be a nice way to evoke in them an interest in sustainability.
Libero: Another project that we would really like to work on is a collaborative project between kids and designer, where an idea of a child takes shape thanks to 3d printing technology and some easily found materials or elements such as wooden sticks or plastic tubes. This process allows a kid with a help of experienced designer to build his own toy as the designed it in his mind.
Photos: Claudio Morelli