Kids’ chairs can roughly be divided into two distinct groups: they are either scaled-down versions of classic designs, or they are specifically designed for children. In both cases, the emphasis lies on durability and the designs’ perceived friendliness.
TON-manufactured ‘Petit chair’, a kid-sized version if the iconic bentwood café chair, is available in a myriad of bright colours; as is Thonet’s ‘S 43 K’ kids’ chair, a small version of Mart Stam’s tubular steel cantilever design from 1931. Alvar Aalto’s 1935 ‘Children’s Chair N65’ for Artek is another classic design, which uses gentle curves of moulded, laminated wood.
More recent designs are available in kids’ sizes too. Consider Verner Panton’s 1959 ‘Panton Junior’, manufactured by Vita, an expressive kids’ chair made from a single piece of plastic. Philippe Starck’s ‘Lou Lou Ghost’ kids’ chair for Kartell is a transparent polycarbonate piece which can be specified in a variety of bright colours.
On the other hand, the furniture designed specifically for children often offers additional functional features. For instance, Kuopion Woodi’s ‘High Chair for children Otto OT454’ is a wooden design with adjustable footrests and a safety bar. More decorative, Agatha Ruiz de la Prada’s ‘Agatha’ range of kids’ chairs not only offers a great variety of cheerful colours, but the plywood backrests take on whimsical shapes, such as hearts, flowers and stars.
Other designs can be used as play furniture, making them very suitable for kindergartens and nurseries. Javier Mariscal’s ‘Julian’ for Magis is a robust, fantastic beast made of rotational-moulded polyethylene and Komplot Design is equally innovative with their ‘Little nobody’ kids’ chair, a lightweight, self-supporting, textile shell, manufactured by Hay.
More robust, but no less friendly is Daniel Michalik’s ‘Cub’ kids’ chair for DMFD Studio, an abstract, sculptural chair made from cork, whose texture, weight and softness are ideal for children’s play. Finally, Heikki Ruoho’s ‘Kenno S Cardboard chair’ is a do-it-yourself cardboard seat that children can help assemble and personalise with their own drawings or paintings.