October 1, 2008

Childsform: So Far, We Know There's A Spool Stool By Michael Marriott

Looks like it's one-off, mushroom-shaped stool day around here this morning. DT readers from a few months back might remember Childsply, the 1999 children's design challenge sponsored by the London design/vintage dealer twentytwentyone. The concept was to see what children's furniture a group of Britain's top designers could come up with using a single sheet of plywood. The prototypes were auctioned off for charity, the British Council staged a traveling Childsply exhibit, and some of the designs even made it into limited production, but for the most part, the entire thing disappeared into the media ether. 1999 turns out to have been a bad year for assuming everything will be archived somewhere, probably on the internet

So in April, with help from the British Council and a few of the designers themselves, I reassembled a definitive list of the participants and their designs. Which is how I heard about Childsform, the even less traceable sequel. After their plywood success, twentytwentyone brought another band of designers together to create children's furniture out of self-skinning polyurethane foam.


The only thing I can dig up about Childsform so far: Gitta Gschwendtner was involved, along with Childsply alums Michael Sodeau and Michael Marriott. Marriott's is the only design I can find. It's the Spool Stool.

Also, Gschwendtner's contribution may have been "a small armchair resembling a giant tomato." It's tantalizing leads like that that get me out of bed in the morning. Lost foam tomato chairs and sleepless, teething babies.

Spool Stool (2000) for Childsform, by Michael Marriott [michaelmarriott.com]
for a limited time only: Search Google's oldest available index, from Jan. 2001 [google.com/search2001 via waxy]
Previously, March 2008: Where's Childsply when you need it?

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