Meet Simona Ortolan, Design blogger from ilpampano-designbimbi


Is it important to teach kids about design or architecture?

Well, it’s not only important but fundamental. We all live surrounded by architecture: homes, schools, churches, shops and we all attend squares, parks or subways. The man has always built environments to live and share places. Why do the children should be away from these issues? They spend their childhood by building spaces and objects with blocks or cardboard, or just using their imagination and drawings. The children’s approach to architecture is a very important educational opportunity.

It must be done with the right methods but it is very important because it involves many areas of knowledge (the scientific, technological and artistic ones) and it is the place where we carry out each task. And that works for the architecture same as for the design. Children must describe and study the spaces where they live, because It helps to imagine shapes and spaces close to their desires and needs. It ‘s a great work for their imagination to perceive their home, towns and places. Teaching design and architecture is also a way to educate the new generations to beauty, to critical sense and aesthetism.

What do furniture for children need to present to be considered “of good quality”?

Shape and function must come together and the furniture should be shaped to fit the child. Never viceversa. It must have high standards of quality and safety. It must be aesthetically beautiful and if the price is “democratic” is even better.


Can you remember your favorite toy you used to be closed to as a child?

No doubt the Lego constructions and “Camilla” the dool with woolly hair. The Lego helped me strenghening myself, getting more and more precise above all it has satisfied my desire to build (in fact I became an architect). Camilla came along with her own passport, through which I invented explorations and adventures. Since then, my passion for travelling and getting to know different cultures has increased. In different ways they represent my attitudes, leaded to the dimension of play and imagination.

What do you think a child’s bedroom must have inside?

I think there are very few essential components and that vary, in part, according to the child’s age. The first one is the bed that absolutely must follow the child’s growth. From my point of view, it’s inconceivable that a child moves from the bed with banks directly to a single bed. Have you ever slept in a bed long almost three meters? Because these are, more or less, the aspect ratio.Same goes for the height of the mattress that reaches 40cm from the floor. For a little child is equivalent to climbing Everest.


I always recommend the parents to stop and to look at things from the children perspective. There’s not even the excuse of “it’s too expensive”. Currently the kids design world is in constant evolution and experimentation and there are also many cheaper alternatives. Second one is a place to create and study. Based on the age of kid. It will be a table with little chairs or a desk. Storage, tuns, for the toys. Can be baskets, boxes, suitcases or dresser, it’ the same. “A place for everything and everything in its place”.  A wardrobe or a dresser, but it must contain only the essentials.


Too often, I see people buying huge closets that, once in the room, become into space for the whole family season change, or in a small closet. No way! Babies need a changing table, a chair for the mom and a soft area, with rug, to play and explore the space around. The important thing, however, is knowing how to choose products with a neutral design that can last over time and can change function over time, adapting to future needs.

What should designers consider when they design spaces or products for children?

For the design of the products is easier, I’ve said previously. Shape, function and beauty must come together for a furniture suitable for the child. Never in reverse order. For interior projects it’s a bit ‘more complicated. In Italy, the design “kidsfriendly” is a rapidly growing area, but new and not always considered important.You have to put yourself into children’s shoes, literally “up to them.” Understand that the room will be for a child. We must follow other standards of safety and enjoyment.

The more children are young, the more we should pay attention during the planning stages. Last but not least, listen to the child wishes, even if their requests will be bizarre and often impossible! Contemplate the tastes of children and their needs, mix them up with the parents’ ideas and make real and possible what they ask for. In short, a small creative enterprise!