Tag Archives: children

Thanks to the boys and girls @inhabitat for posting this portable recycled cardboard high chair.

Of late there has been several foldable, cardboard products on the market – but what we particularly like about the Belkiz Feedaway is the fact that it is designed with a purpose in mind; in contrast, most of the other designs have had the feel of simply being attempts at recreating “conventional” chair designs in cardboard.

And while the designs were without doubt good and practical…. they lacked purpose.

As opposed to the Belkiz Feedaway.

Sturdy and durable, the obvious advantage of the Belkiz Feedaway is that it can be folded; great if you don’t have much space at home – and even greater if you want to pack it in the car when you go off to visit some elderly relatives for the afternoon.

We’re not that sure about the dodgy, pseudo-hippy flowers that have been printed onto the box.
But can overlook them on account of the other obvious advantages the Belkiz Feedaway presents.

Belkiz Feedaway


Belkiz Feedaway

Belkiz Feedaway

Belkiz Feedaway folded

Belkiz Feedaway ... folded


A table and stool that grows with your child.

Until now that was only really possible with a complex piece of topiary, combined with an extremely slow growing child.

Until now.

For now we have Growing Table by Olaf Schroeder

Ignoring the manipulation of living trees, Olaf has instead designed a wonderful product where, quite simply, you add extensions to the legs of table and stool.
And Hey Presto! a desk and stool that grows with your child.

Adjustable to four heights, Growing Table is intended for children aged from 2 – 10  and comes with a good selection of accessories; including a wonderful “endless paper” system to meet all their doodling wishes.

Made from 100 beech and finished with child friendly paints in a range of colours, Growing Table is a truly delightful piece of childrens furniture.

Growing Table Olaf Schroeder  Pure Position

Growing Table by Olaf Schroeder for Pure Position

Growing Table Olaf Schroeder  Pure Position

Growing Table by Olaf Schroeder: one table, three heights

Growing Table Olaf Schroeder  Pure Position

Growing Table by Olaf Schroeder ... detail

Every now and again we read such self-gratifying rubbish from designers about why they design and what for them the role of design is that one really has to step back and ask why they waste their talent.
Yes design is art, but it in comparison to painting or sculpting it is an art that can genuinely help us all live more comfortable and rewarding lives.

We’ll not name the guilty paryt on this occasion, but rather show here how the project “My Reading Light” from Dutch multi-national conglomerate Philips  shows what can be achieved.

Now, we’re not going to pretend for a minute that we believe the images of poor and needy schoolchildren in underprivileged regions moved the executives at Philips so that they felt the need to do something for the needy.

It’s clearly all about profit here.

But our interest is the design.

Reminiscent of a magnifying glass our granny used to have, “My Reading Light” is a rechargeable, solar powered reading light. The advantages are clear, allowing as it does users to individually read and work independent of electricity supply and location.

The design is thoughtful and attractive and Philips know that if it can be shown to be effective and is readily accepted then development organisations will buy thousands if not millions of units.

The designers at Philips have once again achieved a small technological breakthrough, those who chances in life are hindered by the infrastructure on which they rely have a possibility to get on, philips boosts its profits and the environment can breath just a touch easier.

OK no multi-millionaire designer receives another fat cheque.

But that is not what it is all about.

Lecture over… new design follows.

My Reading Light by Philips

My Reading Light by Philips ...

... in action

... in action

On a grey, cold morning that reminds us that we are fast approaching autumn, there is little more pleasant than discovering a wonderful new “product”.

We sadly can’t call it a product as it is not yet in production … but we are sure that will change.

Robox by Copenhagen based designer Guus Ossterbaan is in essence nothing more than a multi-box storage system for children.

The wonderful about Robox, however, is the decor on the outside – and the excellently conceived wall storage solution.

Firstly the design. When we were much, much younger we once made a Father Christmas out of boxes which proudly stood five foot high in our lounge.

Robox is a similar concept, except that the boxes can be used for storing things. In the current form the outer image is a robot – hence the name – we can however well imagine that series production will involve a wonderful range of various designs.

Not least because of the wall storage concept.

The shelving system allow the 9 boxes in the set to be stored such that the shelves become invisible allowing the boxes to become part of the room decoration.

Robots are good.

But so are plants. Vines. People. Animals. Etc.

We’re impressed and we’re fairly certain that it’s only a matter of time before a producer agrees with us.

Robox by Guus Oosterbaan. Fantastic.

Robox by Guus Oosterbaan ...

Robox by Guus Oosterbaan ...

... storage ...

... storage ...

..and room decoration. Robox by guus Oosterbaan

..and room decoration. Robox by guus Oosterbaan

Charles and Ray Eames, bless ’em, were huge fans of what they called “collage”, which essentially comes down to fearlessly mixing styles and forms. They were also fans of moulded plywood, a material that in many ways launched their careers.

And so, given these two isolated facts we’ve come to the unequivocal conclusion that they would approve of the Deckstool concept just as much as we do.

In essence Philadelphia based Deckstool take broken skateboards and turn them into stools.

For us, however, the beauty of this is that there is logic and method behind their design; namely, the observation that skateboards break either in the middle or at the truck – for all you non-kids out there the “truck” in skateboarding jargon is the axle, and doesn’t mean they broke hitting a truck.

From this observation was born the idea that if one has a regular supply of regularly broken skateboards one can make a stool. One simply takes the short end from the “truck breaks” as the seat, and the pieces from the “middle breaks” as the legs.


Aside from being a lovely way to recycle and reuse what is, in effect, waste we find that Deckstool brings that undeniable haunch of gritty urban reality into your room. Which is never a bad thing, even in the most pristine, minimalist Bauhaus conservatory. They also look good, and with the nice “overlaying” of two deck elements the designers have not only solved the stability problem, but have also created an urban version of Sori Yanagi’s Butterfly Stool.

Just don’t tell the kids that or they’ll think their learning 🙂

And, it goes without saying,  should your own decks – or those from your child,  grandchild or niece/nephew – break you can have your own custom stool created.

More information on Deckstools can be found at

As is our want we were hanging out on this morning, when one of our chums drew our attention to Benz Table by/for/with/from Giggle.

And at this point we must mention one of the unfortunate problems with modern echo;  namely, the is no requirement for a link between designer and product, and so while “Giggle” is listed as  a designer, it is also listed as a producer, is sometimes Israeli, sometimes US and sometimes a yellow elephant with no back … and so sadly we have no real idea who or what “Giggle” is or what they/it do/does. Which is a shame because they do it quite well…

But Modern Echo are in beta and we’re sure they can sort that out.
And so back to Benz.

As we all know the Mercedes in Mercredes-Benz refers to the daughter of one of those involved in the early days of German car design.  And we have sneaky feeling that the Benz in Benz Table refers to the children of one or more of those involved.

We hope so any way.

Made from recycled cardboard Benz Table is a childrens table that we are fairly certain will encourage most young uns to sit at and express their creative talents.
And witha carrying capacity of 250 pounds, (110 kg) , even if their creative tendency is via dancing, Benz will be able to “support” their talent.

We also like the fact that is collapsible, a sit means that when you go way on holiday, or even just a weekend away, Benz can come with you and so bring that touch of “home” into your kids lives. Which is “neat” as we believe Americans like to say.

Benz Table. Lovely.

Benz Table by Giggles

Benz Table by Giggles

Although no new blog posts appeared over the weekend, we weren’t completely inactive; rather we were preparing for our next step.

More soon.

For us one of the highpoints of the weekend came shortly after what we thought was going to be the high point. We had recently heard that the excellent blu dot designer furniture range was now available through design public.

On finally getting round to checking it out we discovered that not only is blu dot available through design public but also iglooplay – for us one of the real discoveries at ICFF  – and Jason Miller, although sadly just his “Seconds” plates and not the wonderful Spiral Lounger.

According to Design Public their “mission is to sell fresh and inspiring design with a continued commitment to educate, inspire, nurture, and celebrate great new design.”

And we’ve seen worse attempts at such. Much worse.

We first encountered blu dot at ICFF and since then have take a keen interest in them.  With products such as the wonderful Buttercup Rocker they have created a wonderful 1970s take in classic Eamseien styling; albeit fit for the 21st century. And it is very comfortable.

Buttercup Rocker by blu dot

Buttercup Rocker by blu dot (photo source:

For us one of the best features of iglooplay’s childrens furniture is the name of their principle element: “Mod Rocker” 🙂

We’re not sure if the makers are familiar with the history of British youth culture in the 1960s, the rock operas of The Who or the works of Stanely Cohen. Nor are we sure if we want them to be.

But aside from the best name we’ve ever come across, Mod Rocker is one of the freshest and most original child seating solutions we have seen. And when not exactly a Buttercup Rocker for the youngest generation, Mod Rocker is another fine example of what can be achieved with plywood, imagination … and talent. (Although iglooplay do need to be just a tick less protective – dare we say a*a* – when it comes to their photos – come on guys if you don’t want folks to see your products, don’t deal online 😉 Its 2009 not 1986, and we only want to share your wonderful furniture … A litle less USM Haller, a little more Vitra won’t hurt, honest)

Mod Rocker from iglooplay

Mod Rocker from iglooplay - excellent product, shocking approach to website design.

And it’s not just new designers that are represented. Among the producers is everyone’s favourite Swiss giant Vitra; again albeit here just with limited range of products.

The only problem is design public don’t deliver to Europe … and so we’ll just have to stand like the big kids we are with our noses pressed against the glass and wonder at the Aladdin’s cave tantalisingly beyond our reach.

A big thanks to the boys and girls at designspotter for drawing our attention to Düsseldorf based design studio Tisch 5.

Our first reaction was “Oh no! no not another design studio we’ve missed” But having checked out their website it appears that the weren’t at any of the shows were at recently.


designspotter choose to focus on the Liebkind shopping bag with additional handle for children.  Every one who has ever been out shopping with a small child – or more importantly who is a small child had has ever been taken out shopping against their will and can’t understand why they aren’t allowed to hold hands but also aren’t allowed to wander off where they want … I mean what’s that all about!!! – will know and understand just why Liebkind is such a truly wonderful, functional design.

Liebkind from Tisch 5

Liebkind from Tisch 5

Tisch 5 is, however, much more than just a wonderful, family friendly shopping bag.

At the 2009 ICFF in New York there was plastic serving trolley that got a lot of coverage on account of the fact that the utensils formed part of the trolley. We didn’t like it at all. Really didn’t


Frameset by Tisch 5

We were however reminded of it by Frameset by Tisch 5 – because it does the exact opposite, and does it with much more style. With pre-moulded indentations for a glass, cutlery and a plate Frameset offers a safe, secure and fun alternative to a normal tray; and also a way to convince yourself that sitting in front of your laptop and eating is the same as joining your family at the table.

But what really caught our attention was the chopping board Schneiderlein. And no not on account of the tape measure. We live and cook by estimates. No what appealed to us was the very simple, yet innovative fact that it is raised and that after chopping you can simply sweep the goods into a bowl.

Rather than partly onto the table and partly onto the floor as we currently manage. Such simple, functional and aesthetically pleasing design is what we like and what we understand by good design

Schneiderlein by Tisch 5

Schneiderlein by Tisch 5

On the whole we were very impressed by the complete Tisch 5 range and can thoroughly recommend the studio to all looking for something familiar, yet which has been designed with a eye for detail and where the designers have always posed the question “How can I improve that without ruining it?”

We hope to catch up with Tisch 5 this autumn, not least to check that all the designs are as squirrel proof as they appear to be.

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