February 10, 2006

The 'Stunningly Sweet' Ikea PS Trivas Dad-Child Armchair

ikea_ps_trivas_chair.jpgMoMA design curator Paola Antonelli is not a fan of most kid-related design, but she is a fan of the ever-affordable Ikea [which she pronounces, ee-KAY-ah, as we all should.] When we spoke about design for kids and babies recently, only one product jogged her memory and cleared her inner design hurdle: a two-seated armchair from Ikea for an adult and a child, where the two sitters' faces--not their butts--would be on the same level.

Though she didn't know the name of the chair, she knew the design was only a couple of years old, and she'd seen it very recently in stores. With some help from Ikea's press office, I tracked down the chair, Trivas, which is part of the company's innovative annual PS series. Designer Thomas Eriksson is behind both the series and the chair.

While it's gone out of the line for North America, it's still listed on the website for the UK, at least. The giant lime green plastic shell would be quite a strong presence in almost any room. Antonelli's right; it sure is sweet. But while it may have the staying power with design critics, I wonder how long its extremely use-specific design would work around the Daddy Types house. Or maybe I'm just telling myself that because it'd cost a fortune to ship to the States, and it won't fit in my checked luggage.

IKEA PS TRIVAS Two-seat armchair, 45.00, if available [ikea.com]


During my last visit to IKEA the chair was in the $5 clearance bin. I kid you not. We purchased a few other pieces in the line but passed on the chair. If you plan to sit and do nothing but face forward together it would be useful and then only if your heights were chair compatible. For shifting a bit to interact with each other was okay bur really to sit and read a book together nothing beats a large arm chair or a snuggle on the couch.
Really more form than function.

We go yearly to stock up on their brand batteries which are an underappreciated value. Check 'em out.

My Italian relatives also say ee-KAY-ah...

According to an anonymous comment in the Wikipedia:Talk entry, it's pronounced "eye-key-a" in Sweden. But go ahead with "ee-KAY-ah" if it makes you feel superior. :)

[or Italian. -ed.]

It may be sweet to look at, but it was quite uncomfortable to sit on. My daughter loved it when we saw it last year (vague on dates) but it just didn't seem that functional.

Er, yes, or Italian. Nothing wrong with speaking Italian. But Greg, are you saying we should all pronounce Ikea in Italian?

[in an ideal world, yes. But it might be one of those things that only actual Italians can get away with. Like wearing cravats and living at home until you're 40. -ed.]

Sweet? Our nearest Ikea has one in the restaurant play area, and it took a while for me to reconcile the enormous lump of green plastic with the admittedly rather cute thing in the catalogue. It's massive. It's HIDEOUS. I'm not surprised it's discontinued in the States and on clearance over here.

I have one of these chairs. We've recently moved house and my son is too old for this now. My chair is in like-new condition. I live in Yamhill, Oregon, which is not far from Portland. If anybody's interested in buying this chair, let me know soon -- otherwise I plan to donate it for a school auction.

I should have included my email in the posting. This is Chrissie in Yamhill, Oregon. Today is Feb 16 2006 and I'd like to sell one of these Ikea chairs. It's like-new. If you're interested, you can email me at chrissie.manion@gmail.com. By the way, I liked this chair a lot. I hung mosquito net over it from the ceiling, and it made quite a magical reading place for me and my son. But he's too old now, and we moved house and don't have space for it.

I, too, have this chair. If I am not reading to one of my daughters in it, they are using it as a piece of climbing equipment (it is amazingly durable and wipes clean with baby wipes)! It is HUGE, it is HIDEOUS, it is LIME GREEN and WE LOVE IT! To make it less of an eyesore, we purchased throw pillows and paper lanterns in the same lime green highlights; now only a very few question my purchase.

Sadly, we, too, are moving to another state in May. If anyone in the Phoenix-metro area wants one of these, email me at: lisa_callarman@yahoo.com. We'll gladly throw in extra seat cushions, the throw pillows (with a dragonfly on each) and the lanterns if you want them!

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