Kristian Vedel (1923-2003) was one of the first architects to take children’s furniture seriously. He designed pieces in a simple, modern style that grew out of of a child’s nature, rather than as miniature versions of “grown-up” furniture. He thought about the ways a child moves and their inclination to use furniture for playing as well as for its functional purpose.
Vedel’s re-configurable Child's Chair of 1957 is a semi-circular bent plywood form, with horizontal cut-outs to accommodate adjustable pieces of laminated plywood. The adjustable curved pieces are held in place by friction, resulting in a perfect design for a safety-conscious child’s chair, without the use of any potentially abrasive screws, nails or bolts, or sharp corners.
Thanks to the removable pieces and abstract geometry, Vedel's chair can be arranged in various configurations, from a chair, table, rocker or highchair, to something entirely imagined.
"My purpose was to create a combination of a child chair and a tumble stool, appealing to the children’s own fantasies and their varying psychological and physical needs. A tool, to support single as well as group of children, which in size, form, weight and character, fits as many situations and ages as possible,” wrote Vedel.
The architect designed the chair to be useful during all phases of a child’s development, from crawling to sitting to standing up and eventually to walking. Nor does the potential value of the chair end with adulthood; it can still be used as a stool or side table even after childhood is just a memory. That memory can live on even longer by giving the chair to one’s own child or family members to enjoy as an heirloom piece spanning generations.
The dimensions of the upright chair are 17 w x 12 1/4 d x 16 h (43.1 x 30.7 x 40.6 cm).