Your chair and table set for kids was recently shown at Wooden Story @Maison&Objet Paris. Please tell us how that came about.
I took part in Pure Design Contest, which was organised by Wooden Story. The task was to design a set of inclusive furniture for children – to learn and play. They were meant to be used in public spaces and meet the needs of children with disabilities. The chair and table set for kids which I designed was awarded the first prize. Just after the announcement of the results, the Wooden Story team made a prototype based on my design. A few weeks ago it was presented for the first time at Maison&Objet in Paris.
The brief for the pure design contest was to create an inclusive furniture that invites children to play and learn… How did you go about designing it?
While designing the chair and table set, I found two main issues that according to me were the most challenging and determined the form of each piece, especially the table. The chair and table set, not only was meant to be used in public spaces but also easily accessible for children with disabilities.
When I think of public spaces I imagine places we visit for a relatively short period of time, sometimes in hurry, we want to get things done. So the furniture that is intended to be used there should be already ready to use, without the necessity to adjust it to users’ needs.
In consequence, the form and dimensions of the table arise from the dimensions of a typical children’s chair and a wheelchair intended for children. As the height of the above-mentioned seats is significantly different, the tabletops were designed at two different levels. This makes the play comfortable and accessible for every child, regardless of potential disabilities.
My main idea was to design a piece that would invite all children to play together in a way they feel comfortable, equal, resourceful and independent.
What do you think, what makes your inclusive furniture different from from other contest submissions?
Since it is not the first competition I took part in, I am pretty sure that there were a lot of great, creative ideas, submitted by super talented people. In my design I tried to respond to all the problems defined by organizers, to design a piece made of ecological, renewable materials, compatible with their company’s policy. I kept in mind, it was finally supposed to be a product launched for sale, so it should meet safety standards and be technically feasible. That’s why I tried to collect all of my observations, outcomes of analysis, put them into one concept and simplify it as much as it was possible. I don’t know if this is what makes it different but it looks like the way I solve some issues and the way I present the idea made the jury like the whole concept.
Did you have already a chance to ask kids about your furniture for kids with special needs?
Since this is a relatively new thing, I haven’t had this chance yet. But I must say I’d love to watch them for a while to see how they use the furniture, how intuitive it is for them to play together or if they prefer to play while standing or sitting.
And last but not least – tell us something about you Patrycja and your career. Where and what did you studied and what was particulary formative for you?
I graduated from the Faculty of Architecture at the Cracow University of Technology. I had a chance to partly studied at Bauhaus University in Weimar. Daily I work as a junior architect in one of Cracow’s architectural studios. What is constantly formative for me, in terms of both architecture and product design, is watching spaces and products that already exist. I like observing how they are used, if they are liked by users and fulfil their function. This is why I like the moment when the concept turns into reality and the object serves someone. This is actually the time everything starts.