I've been slowly hearing back from various designers in the Childsply Project that UK design gallery/store twentytwentyone organized in 1999. [13 designers and firms created twelve pieces of kid furniture out of a single sheet of plywood. The originals were auctioned off for charity, and then the British Council recommissioned them for an exhibition, which traveled to Berlin, Taiwan, and Venezuela until 2002.]
It's a relief to know I wasn't wrong; the show has definitely slipped off the web--and the radar. More than one designer has sounded like he's just heard from a longlost high school classmate. Several remember the show fondly because they now have kids of their own, and so have been thinking of kid-related design from a POV of a kid-observing parent instead of a nostalgic adult remembering his own childhood.
What's surprising is how little information seems to exist, though. A couple of designers replied saying they have no info at all, no pictures, designs, prototypes, nothing. At the British Council, everyone who was involved in Childsply has left, and it took some industrious digging through the archives to find even the checklists and low-res photos of the pieces.
But they did, and they're kind of awesome. I'll be updating the main Childsply post with details, but I thought I'd give an update and a teaser. The designs above are, from left, Inflate/NIck Crosbie's See Saw, Matthew Hilton's hole-covered Climbing Frame, and Jam/Lee Kew-Moss' Micro Environment. Stay tuned.
Previously: Where's Childsply When You Need It?