This is maybe something you’ve seen or heard about before but I couldn’t help but write a post which featured these Knoll child size chairs which I sourced from the great website that is Design Within Reach. Mondo Cane ran a fantastic exhibition with Partners & Spade back in May showcasing vintage children’s chairs and I was a big fan of the concept in general, they were showing the likes of Aalto and Bertoia. It’s fascinating to think about these as basically miniature prototypes in a lot of ways, it gives you an insight into the mentality of these timeless designers. I also think it’s important to remember that a kid’s chair has to be simplified and stripped back of unnecessary things, especially since they need to keep the price down and also the materials can get fiddly at this smaller ratio. I guess now as well designers are constraint by health and safety rules which would mean you have to use really fluid forms instead of sharp and jagged edges, something you don’t really think about until you look closer into this category of design.
These specific chairs shown here aren’t cheap by any means, for example the Mies van der Rohe Barcelona chair and Eero Saarinen Womb chair are fetching up to $4,000 USD which is obviously pretty extreme for such a small chair. An interesting fact about these though is that each one has been manufactured by Knoll to the original and exact specifications of the designer, so really you’re getting a one-of-a-kind piece which will always grow in price and will get better with age.
Eero Saarinen’s chair seen below is one that I’ve not really talked about before on this site but an image that’s always vivid is the one featured in our good friend Leslie Williamson’s Handcrafted Modern book. This chair was found in Walter Gropius’ house sitting in-between a pair of Marcel Breuer’s tubular tables, beyond incredible if you ask me. Created in 1946 Eero came up with the idea of applying foam moulded over a fiberglass shell, the foam is a single-piece form that perfectly facilitates a relaxed sitting posture and the steel rod base adds a simplistic structure to the whole piece. I definitely want one for myself but unfortunately it’s out of my price range currently, maybe soon! Hopefully we’ll be able to stock chairs like this in our store at a future date.
The child size chairs beneath include the Barcelona chair by Mies van der Rohe, the Womb chair by Eero Saarinen, Bertoia chair by Harry Bertoia, and finally the Risom Side chair by Jens Risom. For more like this and for other design orientated objects head towards the Design Within Reach website through the link below.