August 8, 2008

Luigi Colani's Rappelkiste Kid Unit, Just For Compleatness


Last winter, I had sort of a designcrush on the wacky futurist Luigi Colani. So when Andy posted about this awesome piece of lots-in-one kids furniture, the Rappelkistein, in January, I just assumed I'd linked to it. So since then, every time someone sends me a tip about the Rappelkiste, I'd be all, "Awesome, thanks, got it!"

Only I don't. Never did. I'd just posted it in my heart. So here to complete the set, is Luigi Colani's Rappelkiste, made in 1975 of beechwood, plywood, chalkboard finish, and hessian/burlap by the German firm Elbro.

I'm not sure of the name, really. The Austrian auction house Dorotheum called it the "Living Tower" when they tried to auction it in 2005 for EUR6500-7500. They also said the wood was the futuristic plastic-loving Colani's response to the 1970's oil crisis. [FWIW, Colani's 1977 Tobifant playtable and chairs is made of wood, too.]

But when Quittenbaum in Munich tried selling one for EUR3800-4200 a year later, they were calling it the Rappelkiste, which translates not as Living Tower, or even Living Box, but as Rustle Box.

Rappelkiste also happens to be the name of a 1973 breakout educational kids TV show of in Germany, which, from this Google translation of the Rappelkiste wikipedia entry, sounds like a hippie Sesame Strasse, if that's not redundant. There's not necessarily a connection to the TV show, though; Rappelkiste is also described as a generic term for a children's place. Maybe it's just a rumpus room, or play pen, or something. A romper room, if you will.

Anyway, they're out there, and they're not selling, so if you find a Rappelkiste, you could probably muscle the seller down a bit. Of course, now that the dollar is the new lira, I guess it's still not any bargain. My bad, should've listened and posted it sooner.

Luigi Colani's portfolio/studio site []
"Living Tower, 1975, Luigi Colani, est. EUR6500-7500Apr 28, 2005 []
Rappelkiste, Luigi Colani, 1975, est EUR3800-4200, Nov 26, 2006, Quittenbaum [liveauctioneers via referencelibrary]

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