PLAY Interactive Kids Furniture
PLAY is a design competition with the aim of generating interactive, modular and dynamic furniture prototypes for children up to the age of 10. Furniture for children should be a reflection of their personality and must be more than just a functional entity for them. The furniture should have an innate sculptural quality that could stimulate a child’s creativity and imagination.
Cognitive development is rapid and very important during a child’s growing years. As the kids grow, they get aware of their surroundings in a more conscious way. Like most humans, they have an insatiable urge to explore the world around them. They get more active physically and like to play and move things around. Children have a raw unadulterated imagination. They like to create their own stories and build their own worlds, tangible or intangible.
Kids furniture has improved aesthetically over the years. However, industrial design and production methods don’t really think about it from the perspective of children. Kids furniture is treated as just another category/subset of a furniture catalog with static designs, lack of innovation and a rigid, practical approach. Kids furniture should be surreal and joyful that can capture and express a child’s imagination. Children interact with surroundings constantly and give their own meanings to the objects around them. The furniture should enable the children to interact and play with them and to be able to mould it as per their imagination. Children find many uses and possibilities to objects that the designer doesn’t even think about. The participants need to be creative to give them room to interact with the furniture, and they will do the rest. It may not be just about colours, shapes or built-in features. The participants should strive to give them the space to imagine, explore and play with the product.
Children grow up at a rapid pace and the furniture created for them tends to get redundant after a certain point of time. Also, they have short attention spans naturally and get bored of their belongings easily. The furniture should be dynamic and be able to evolve and adapt according to the kid using it. The participants should create transformative furniture that may be able to modulate itself into different functionalities or uses. The furniture should keep its value intact and become an exemplary sustainable reference point inside the space in which it is kept.
All factors that are conducive for an enhanced experience like comfort, ergonomics, durability, accessibility (disabled friendly) and visibility should be considered important while designing the furniture. The briefs do not mention any specific type or function for the ‘furniture/product’. The participants are free to designate any kind of function(s), singular or multiple as per their narrative. The participants are free to choose the scale and size of their product with the careful consideration to the end user i.e. a child in this case. PLAY is an initiative to focus on kids’ furniture in a better way and curate ideas that are creative, fun and bespoke.