January 17, 2007

Habitat VIP For Kids By Kinda Random VIPs

Marcel Wanders, Paco Rabanne, Kate Winslet, Buzz Aldrin, Miss Piggy, Loïck Peyron... I would have loved to be in the room when Habitat finalized the list of celebrity designers who would be invited to create their new VIP For Kids collection of furniture, toys, and objects that hits stores on Feb. 20th.


Dezeen has several posts and pictures, and if you don't understand French, you won't mind clicking through to see everything on Marie Claire. If you do read French, though, you can't help but notice the sappy and/or silly puff quotes that accompany the designs, the "actual" designers being the worst offenders. Meanwhile, "amateurs" like the actors and the astronaut sound the most in touch with either their own childhood memories, or the actual life of a kid. I choose to overlook Peyron's insistence that the awesome, boat-inspired bed above, dubbed "Skipper," is only for a boy.


First off, Marcel Wanders, talking about the inspiration for his set of boxes, which scream femininity to him:

La femme porte en elle les secrets les plus précieux et fait naître les trésors les plus inestimables au monde, ainsi que notre avenir. Ces boîtes qui en renferment d'autres offrent une image de la maternité. Matryoshka est une boîte aux trésors.

[The woman carries in her the most precious secrets and gives birth to the most inestimable treasures in the world, even our future. These boxes which close within each other offer an image of maternity. Matryoshka is a box of treasures.]


For her part, Kate Winslet says her treasure chest filled with secret compartments was based on her own dream as a child, the fact that kids play dressup, and want someplace of their very own to stash their stuff.


In designing what I presume to be his first lamp, Aldrin said he knew exactly what he wanted, something to bring the moon he knew into a kid's room. The result is "Moonbuzz," a giant resin hanging lamp, which seems positively awesome.


Jacqueline Wilson [children's author, famous in Britain, had to look it up] phoned in "Storyland," a bookcase that looks like a house or a city skyline. Nothing earthshattering, but a fine concept for someone to actually think through someday.


Meanwhile, Daniel Radcliffe's [yes, as in Harry Potter] idea for "Cu-bed" is an ever-changing toy/chair/bed/fort a kid can move around herself. "Why be content with just one toy when you can have several?" Radcliffe asked himself.

No idea what any of these things'll cost, just that it'll be a bear to ship them back to the US.

Habitat, VIP for Kids feature [marieclairemaison.com, first seen on dezeen]


I think that bed looks suspiciously like an iron lung from the 40s or 50s. Is France preparing for a polio epidemic?

[that photo looks like Jacques Cousteau's entry. Just because he's been dead for like 10 yrs is no reason he can't design kid's furniture. -ed.]

Jacqueline Wilson's design reminds me of Marcel Wander's "City System" which you can find at marcelwanders.com. I've had a crush on the city system forever now, but it is impossible to find a store that sells it. I'm also very excited about Kate Winslet's design. Both children and adults could benefit from a little magic and mystery that only secret compartments can provide.

why don't you call Marcel?

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