Meet Francesco Monaco, designer kids furniture from Nimio-Lab


Why do you design products for kids?

At the beginning of NIMIO-LAB adventure, one of our first orders came from a beautiful shop for kids in Madrid: Glück. María, the owner, proposed us to make a small production of a design piece that, somehow, could show the spirit and the phylosophy of the shop,which we felt identified with.

In that moment, my own daughter was about two years old, and then I decided to watch her and to see how she interacted with forniture for adults, that we had at home. I noticed that she enjoyed, most of all, pushing and dragging chairs, putting little objects in the holes she found, opening and closing drawers, painting over every surface.

Then I saw it clear. We had to put all those things together in a single piece and that is how the little chair Glücksstuhl was born. Glücksstuhl is a multifunctional piece of forniture, a little chair, a walker with wooden wheels a little with a drawer, two holes for playing and hiding things, and the seat chalk painted to draw on it. The chair started to work and I loved to explore childhood world and the small scale.


The Walrus Family by Nimio-Lab

What do you enjoy in your occupation?

What I most like about this job is imagining design pieces likely to tell stories and investigating how to make them real: doing drawings, models – even 1:1 scale –, and then prototypes. All this creative and investigating stage and the link between an idea and the real object fascinates me.


The Walrus Family by Nimio-Lab

What kinds of challenges do a designer has to rise in the everyday life?

For me, once those designs become real objects, the challenge is to reach as many people as possible. I am not interested about the idea of luxury design. I really think design has to reach everybody. It is often difficult, but I consider it has to be always the aim. This constrains us to think again and again about things, to work sometimes with simple technologies to avoid higher costs and to use our wit and the world of the ideas.

Do children need design?

Everybody needs design. So,children too. Childhood is a very important life stage, and it is necessary to be sorrounded by stimulating objects that can create no obvious interactions.

Also adults need this design for children, it is really stimulating to watch how children interact with objects in a way that an adult can’t even imagine.


The Walrus Family by Nimio-Lab

How did the idea of your product emerged?

For me, sense of humor on design is always necessary.The Walrus Family, our stool and table set for children, came out from  the huge fascination we feel about walrus, really amazing animals.

I was drawing some of those animals on a blackboard with my daughter, and from one of the drawings came up the idea of turning it into stools, mixing imagination and a funny and abstract shape.

It is our little tribute to an animal that lives in frozen Arctic water. This way, for example, Walrus Family colours are the colours of the sea in different moments.

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