A minimal rocking horse by Nendo and a swing by Philippe Starck are among Italian design brand Kartell’s collection of products aimed specifically at children, a key trend in Milan this year.
Kartell has used its signature plastic-moulding technology to produce the range, which also includes pieces by Italian designers Piero Lissoni and Ferruccio Laviani.
“Kartell has always been close to the experiential spheres associated with children, through concepts hinged on the themes of exploration, research and innovation,” Kartell president Claudio Luti told Dezeen. “Indeed, as well as being functional, our products are intrinsically playful, fun and engaging.”
Design for children looks set to be one of the key trends at this year’s Milan design week. As well as Kartell’s range, Swedish studio Front will present a bent-wood rocking horse and Dutch designer Marcel Wanders will showcase a collection of furniture for kids.
“It is a huge market with very high potential, and many offers in terms of furnishings and toys,” said Luti.
Kartell’s range includes the rocking chair by Japanese studio Nendo, which is based on I-beams used in building construction. It is composed of two curved surfaces – one forming the head and seat; the other providing the rocker – and a flat vertical section that joins the two.
A toy tractor called Testa Calda and a race car named Discovolante are made from sheets of tinted plastic, which are shaped into seats and chassis. Designed by Lissoni, the small four-wheeled rideable vehicles come in a range of colour combinations.
French designer Starck’s iconic Louis Ghost chair for the brand is reinterpreted in miniature, and can be customised with graphics like drawings and photos laid onto the round seat back.
Similar patterns can be applied to the tops of mini versions of Kartell’s range of tables, as well as the surfaces of fishbowl-shaped FL/Y lamp shades by Laviani.
The collection also includes the simple plastic Airway swing, also by Starck, which appears to be moulded around the four colourful ropes it hangs from.
Kartell will debut the range at this year’s Salone del Mobile furniture fair.
The brand recently opened its first UK flagship showroom in London, when Luti spoke to Dezeen about how the company pioneered the manufacture of plastic furniture and his plans for its future.