"Sit down" exhibition on seating for kids opened at the V&A museum of childhood in Bethnal green last weekend and will be on in London till September. The first room, entered through a large, medium or small doorway, recreates the feel of the Three Bears’ cottage, with a dinner table where visitors can vote for their favourite chair. Children are invited to design their own seat and images are posted by the exhibition.
Design your own chair vote for your favorite chair
Tom Dixon opened the exhibition, himself and one of the directors from ercol gave inspiring speeches. It was great to hear that ercol remains a family run business. I also had the pleasure of meeting Carole Daprey author of the blog vintage for kids and book Mobilier Design Pour Enfants.
The display is laid out in three sections, each asking a question for visitors to consider: What is a seat? Who is the seat for? and How is a seat made? There are over 70 examples of traditional and modern seating used by children in their everyday lives from the 1600 through to the present day. Designs by Charles & Ray Eames, Vitra, Harry Bertoia and El Ultimo Grito are on display, as well as the Modernist high chair by Dutch architect Gerrit Rietveld and Spotty, a 1960s paper chair designed by Peter Murdoch. It was nice to think the pieces exhibited by the V&A from my collection will be enjoyed by so many people
The museum of childhood had a smaller version of the ercol chair arch deigned by Martino Gamper for the London design festival last summer. This was inspired by the first Chair Arch, which was constructed in 1877 to celebrate Queen Victoria’s visit to High Wycombe.Ribambelles & ribambins has a great piece on the history of ercol.
A display on the ground floor of museum shows the work of Furniture Design & Technology students from New Bucks University after they were set a brief by ercol Furniture to design a functional and original child's school chair. As part of the display, Ercol have produced a prototype of the students' resulting design, which Museum visitors are invited to try out, giving their verdict on style, comfort, form and function.