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Matthew Hilton

Climbing Frame by Matthew Hilton


In September 1999 twelve British furniture designers responded to a commission set by London-based furniture retailer twentytwenyone in order to raise money for The Children's Hope Foundation. The resulting designs were exhibited at twentytwentyone in Islington.

The brief was to design a piece of furniture for a child between one and six years old which could be manufactured from a single sheet of birch-faced plywood. The furniture was made by Windmill in London. The British Council Design Promotion department recommissioned this work for a touring exhibition in 2000 which continues in 2001.

The resulting collection, Childsply, represents the contemporary British Design scene in minature. Robin Day's design, a chair with a curved seat and slotting frame, recalls his post-war bentwood furniture, innovative and challenging in its time, now classic. Several others encouraged multifunctional play - a see-saw seat by Inflate, a chair-and-steps by Michael Marriot, a light-and jigsaw by Andrew Stafford. Others answered adults needs by combining storage with entertainment - a toybox you can get into and explore by JAM, a fold-up workbench/table by the Azumi's, a locker you can customise by Sebastian Bergne.

The designers involved in Childsply have turned their memories of dreams, space, exploration and discovery into a fascinating range of solutions to twentytwentyone's tight design brief.

Childsply Designers



Project Manager: Fiona McEwen

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