Booster seat, Cosco, US; 1960s. V&A Images
Surely one of the most oft used parent-to-child commands – and perhaps equally the most unobeyed – Sit Down is the name of the V&A Museum of Childhood’s charming new show on kids seating…
Sit Down, opening at the V&A Museum of Childhood in London in early February, features more than 70 types of kids seating, from rocking horses to high chairs, to designer miniatures and stern deportment chairs.
Looking at how children’s chair design has evolved, most noticably during the 20th century, Sit Down features designs from a range of seating luminaries, such as Charles Eames, Vitra and El Ultimo Grito, alongside examples of a Modernist high chair by Dutch architect, Gerrit Rietveld, and the Spotty chair, a 1960s paper seat designed by Peter Murdoch.
The exhibition design, by Wells Mackereth, apparently follows the narrative of the Three Bears. Visitors will enter the show through small, medium and large doors that lead into a “bear’s cottage” where they can eventually vote for their favourite chairs using spoons in porridge bowls (displayed on an interactive dinner table, no less).
Robin Day style school chair; 1970s. V&A Images
The exhibition will encompass a wide range of functional and playful objects, designed to be used primarily for sitting upon: including chairs, benches, sofas, bean bags, ride-on toys, potties, high chairs and play equipment.
It concludes with a timeline of kids seating from 1600 to contemporary recycled chairs, and visitors will also be able to make their own Ercol chair (an Ercol chair ‘arch’ will be be on display in the main entrance to the Museum).
Sit Down: Seating for Kids runs from 6 February until 5 September (admission free). V&A Museum of Childhood, Cambridge Heath Road, London E2 9PA. Open daily: 10am-5.45pm.
White plastic chair by Verner Panton. V&A Images
Eames Elephant seat, designed by Charles and Ray Eames. Photo: Ilan Rubin, © Vitra
A table, an axle and wheels, plus basic seat = a car. V&A Images