October 14, 2005

MoMA's "Safe" For Kids

huggable_mushroom_cloud.jpgMoMA's new exhibition, "SAFE: Design Takes On Risk," looks at over 300 products and concepts for addressing stress, protection, preparedness, anda sense of security. I've already posted a couple of things that show up in the show--the Stokke Xplory and Boezels, the hipster/therapy plush creatures--but here are some more highlights [I went to a preview the other night; the show and its comprehensive website open 10/16.]:

  • The Mini Marat (1990) is an Israeli air filtration system an infant 0-6 mos. can lie down in. Basically, it's a transparent vinyl pup tent with a positive pressure fan/filter attached. Looks like nursery equipment from a Terry Gilliam movie. It's manufactured by a company called Supergum; their current infant shield allows for changing and feeding
  • The Takata04 Neo Child Car Seat (2004) is one of the more subdued Japanese car seat designs. [The ratchet to tighten the seat belt is called a "mama relax handle," which, though typically sexist, sounds like a brilliant invention.]
  • There's a sweet neoprene baby carrier called the Polygloo from Pinpon (France), but I can't find it online anywhere. Yet. [It's too big to actually use, I think, but it's cool.]
  • The Patapata Pen-chan attaches to a bathroom faucet, and when water runs through it, the little penguin flaps it wings [always with the penguins these days!]. It encourages kids to wash their hands--or to run the water all day. Very cute.
  • But not as cute as the entire collection of Giant Plush Microbes.
  • Even cuter, though, and more thoughtful, was the Huggable Atomic Mushroom Cloud by the British design duo Dunne and Raby. As their website says [#008], the Mushroom "is for people who are afraid of nuclear annihilation. Like treatments for phobias, they allow for gradual exposure through different sizes."
  • MoMA's "Safe" opens Oct. 16 [moma.org]

    [update: Core77 has a nice gallery of the show, easier to navigate than MoMA's own (admittedly) fancy flashsite.]


    So, where can we get the penguin?

    Never mind. I've been reminded by my wife that our bathtub doesn't have a spout, just some weird metal disc on the tub that the water comes out of the bottom of.

    [whew, cuz it's not as cute as you probably think, and it's actually designed for a tiny handwashing sink that's built into the top of most Japanese toilets. -ed.]

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