Kids

Kids

December 10 2008



ArcheToys designed by Floris Hovers may be toys but kids do not need to get excited. Adults are going to scoop them up, now that they are apparently available - although we are not yet quite sure how or where we could buy them.
 
Hovers was born in 1976 in Raamsdonksveer in the Netherlands and graduated from the Eindhoven Design Academy in 2004. The first ArcheToy was an ambulance that Hovers created for his little cousin. The simplicity of the cars from the 1950s and 1960s charmed and intrigued Hovers and so he began to craft a fleet of specialty vehicles. They are archetypes of uncomplicated, recognizable form; toys for adults minus tiresome macho undertones.
 
Hovers introduced ArcheToys to the world at the November 2007 Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven. His intention of designing furniture has now been sidetracked as these little things have taken off the way they deserve. More than 40 strong and growing, the ArcheToys fleet includes several that we simply must have — especially the hearse, combine and ice-cream truck. - Tuija Seipell

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Kids

November 27 2008




One of the easiest ways to make a boring space more vibrant is to use colour. However, as so many of us can remember, obvious opportunities to do this have been missed for decades in schools, universities and hundreds of other places where young people are more or less stuck for long periods. Luckily, today’s kids have better luck – at least in the schools where Amsterdam’s i29 has had its say.


 
i29 Interior Architects consists of two interior designers – Jaspar Jansen and Jeroen Dellensen – and is known for clear, bold solutions. A good example of this is their custom furniture project for a Het Veer. It is a public school in Almere, a city located 25 kilometers east of Amsterdam and often referred to as the most modern city in Europe. Het Veer is a school for children with learning and concentration difficulties and the objective of i29’s work was to express and entice concentration, playfulness and movement. Their eight different white and red tube furniture pieces can be mixed and matched creating various formations. They play off the Buzz Wire science game that teaches about electric circuits and is based on concentration and hand coordination.


 
At the Caland Lyseum in Amsterdam, 1,500 students work in a sport-centric environment where they receive coaching for their specific sport and in academic topics. i29 was asked to envision  the public spaces – including the main hall, staff room, library and computer/media room – for the new Bos & Partners architects-designed building with its gray brick, glass walls and unusual floor plans. They used large images of the school’s famous sports hero alumni and then custom-created multi-functional tables, benches and signage, plus a color scheme for the common areas. The award-winning solution matches the dynamic and multicultural life of the school yet lets the buildings features dominate. - Tuija Seipell

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Kids

November 26 2008



These cool images are from the fabulous Kinderdentist in Berlin. Designed by Brad Pitt’s favourite architecture firm, the super-creative and multi-functional GRAFT, this is the kind of place that makes us want to be kids again. Never thought we’d say that about a dental office, but what can we do? And why exactly is it that adults’ dental offices don’t look like this?


 
Kinderdentist is an underwater world of play and adventure with a 12-foot visual wave drawing the guests into to world of blue hues and pixilated schools of fish. You feel as if you were under water, in a submarine, just waiting for exciting things to happen. And yes, kids’ teeth get fixed there, too.


 
Originally established in 1998 in Los Angeles by German architects, Lars Krückeberg and Wolfram Putz, Graft expanded in 2001 when third partner, Thomas Willemeit, opened the Berlin office, and fourth partner, Gregor Hoheisel, established Graft in Beijing.
 
Now perhaps best known for its collaboration with Brad Pitt, Graft has always pushed the boundaries of mere architecture and is known for an enormous breath of projects. Architecture, interior design and art concepts, urban design, “eventing,” film and video projects, music, car design, commercials and exhibitions are just some of the things the prolific team has completed globally. Its architecture and interior design practice extends the breath of the field as well from furniture schemes to concept design of hotels, restaurants, clubs, offices, institutions, residences.


 
In the media, Graft is often labeled as something other than a ‘global architecture firm’ – including a rock band, a hippie commune and a bunch of eccentrics – and it seems that this is exactly what the partners like to hear. Willemeit has been quoted as saying that “In L.A. we’re these crazy German guys and in Berlin we are not accepted into the Berlin architecture mafia – we’re cowboys. - Tuija Seipell

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Kids

June 13 2008



To many of us it seems like advancements in technology are moving at an extremely accelerated pace, but to those who are following in our footsteps, the rate of change could not be fast enough. For some school children in Camden outside of London, Gollifer Langston’s prototype transportable Classrooms of the Future will deliver information and communication technology (ICT) on a flatbed truck in the form of an oblong gray pod capable of providing a sufficient ICT facility that many schools are unable to install within their own environments.

The mobile classroom will move from school to school, and is designed to hold 15 students at a time.  Once the pod is delivered, a set of hydraulics expands the unit wider, and creates an entrance as well as a stage and a small-cinema-sized screen for presentations and performances.  The work space will provide mainly high school students a place to explore music and filmmaking. The Classroom of the Future will have capabilities of adapting for additional needs as technology races beyond what even the next generation can predict. By Andrew J Wiener



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Kids

May 5 2008



Yummy! Wow! Ooops! The playful, colorful and juicy Taka-Tuka-Land kindergarten in Berlin evokes a rambunctious reaction. You hear the kids at play. You see the bright colors. You sense the kids are happy. So it is no wonder that the students who designed and created this funhouse call their approach “sensuous architecture.”



Baupiloten is a group of architecture students who during their studies at Faculty VI, Institute for Architecture at Berlin Technical University (Technische Universität Berlin) develop their own projects from concept to implementation under professional guidance. Architect Susanne Hoffmann founded Baupiloten (Bau=build, Piloten=pilot) in 2003 and has headed it since 2004.



The Taka-Tuka-Land kindergarten was originally erected as a temporary solution, but with the fantastic Baupiloten approach to the refurbishment, it has become a permanent place for children.
 
The Taka-Tuka-Land is part of the Pippi Longstocking lore created by the Swedish author Astrid Lindgren. Pippi in Taka-Tuka Country is a movie based on one of her novels. The children at the kindergarten and their teachers created collages, models, drawings and ideas based on Taka-Tuka Land with bridges, huts, merry-go-rounds made of blossoms and thrones made of seashells. The Baupiloten students then spent several days with the children observing their daily routines, their schedules and their ways of communication.



From this extensive groundwork, the design story for the space was developed. The building itself is Pippi’s old oak tree that contains a lemonade factory. The lemonade breaks through the bark of the tree and flows outside creating padded play areas. The story of the building is a trip through the seven stages of the lemon tree, each facilitating a different activity: The lemonade tree, Glittering lemonade in the sun, Lemonade drops, The lemonade island, Waiting for the parents, Lemonade gallery, The bark breaks open, and Delving into lemonade. Pippi’s most likely verdict would be “Jätte god!” By Tuija Seipell.




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Kids

December 21 2007



Ask a child what their favorite subject is at school, and chances are they’ll say recess. It’s the one time during the day when they are almost absolutely free to make decisions for themselves — from who to play with, what to play, and where to play. And as children grow, the social dynamics of who can play where shifts and an age-based pecking order ensues. 

The Netherlands-based design team at Carve integrate architectural expression into their playground design thereby generating unique play experiences for children of all ages. Don’t let the kids know, however that the Carve team strives to encourage a cognitive process — even during free time. This new equipment and play structures stimulate decision-making, group and continuous play (use of the same equipment in varying way) encouraging children to climb, hang, swing, skate, slide, run, jump, vault, hide.



One of Crave’s creation in particular, the wall-holla, has received special notoriety as it was nominated for the Dutch Design Awards in 2006.  Thirty children at once can climb, crawl, roll and maneuver through the large fence-like structure. Older children are able to scale the climbing wall or just relax and look out over the domain they’ve waited countless years to control. By Andrew J Wiener.




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October 16 2007




Poetry and storytelling help us understand the world that surrounds us. Visual imagery allows the mind to draw parallels between what we see and how we think. Dutch designer Jurgen Bey has created a classroom that will inspire young minds to think beyond the realm of what is traditionally asked of school children. 



The classroom interior project is part of the ROC training school at Apeldoorn in the Netherlands. Practically every surface of the room is covered with images found in books used at the school.  Centred around a palate of white and grey, Bey selected graphics then placed them around the space on walls, furniture and even the floor. Moveable screens allow the room to open completely or divide space depending on the activities taking place. 



One key feature, the highly wear-resistant flooring system made with Senso Freeze, contains a transparent resin that allowed Bey to embed digital photographs onto the surface.  Inspiration and creativity seeps from every surface - it's impossible to imagine what will be generated from the minds as they pass through this space. By Andrew J Wiener


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October 9 2007





Let's just all rewind the movie of our lives a bit and go back to school. We at Coolhunter are thinking of heading to University of London's Birkbeck College and finding our way to the classes at its Film & Visual Media Research Centre.

You cannot tell from the outside that the odd set of buildings at London's Gordon Square offers anything remarkable at all. The older building does have a pedigree - it is the former home of both Virginia Stephens (later Woolf) and economist John Maynard Keynes. The drab 1970s extension to the building does not even deserve another look. Except inside.



Award-winning London-based Surface Architects won the competition to create within the buildings the permanent home of the Film & Visual Media Research Centre. Surface transformed the basement, ground floor and the extension into a unique state-of-the-art 80-seat cinema auditorium, surrounded by a media study suite, seminar rooms and offices.

Ian Christie, Birkbeck's Professor of Film and Media History, describes the exciting new building “...the new cinema auditorium - already being referred to as 'The Screen on the Square' is as soberly dedicated to ideal screening conditions as the surrounding break-out spaces and stairway are an exuberant display of pure form and colour. In fact, Surface's extraordinary projection of intersecting cones has various filmic associations: the jagged angles recall the Expressionist set design of The Cabinet of Dr Caligari, an influential German film of 1921; and the lurid colours evoke Andy Warhol's silkscreen portraits of film stars.”



Key players at Surface are Richard Scott, who formed it in 1996, and Andy MacFee, who joined Surface in 2001 as director. Both have worked with Will Alsop and other notables. Surface is also one of 47 practices worldwide selected to work on the Athlete's Village for the London 2012 Olympics. By Tuija Seipell

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August 14 2007



Forget your traditional definition of an amusement park, Wannado City leaves behind the cotton candy, the solicitors of large stuffed animals, the mindless entertainment and trash. Instead the “city”� has redefined child entertainment with aspirational activities, all of which are framed around the question: “What do you wanna do when you grow up?”�



Wannado City was crafted from the vision of Mexican-born Luis Javier Laresgoiti, who had a eureka moment while watching his daughter “play executive” on his business phone. Laresgoiti, with the backing of several major corporations has crafted a dream world where children are encouraged to take on an adult profession and see where it takes them. The park is located in Sawgrass Mills Mall in Southern Florida.



Each venue has its own concentration, such as the Motorola-sponsored M-Lab that focuses on innovation and invention. The M-Lab turns each visitor is given a white lab coat and transformed into an “M-Ventor.”� The children are encouraged to work together on a technology-based game to solve a difficult problem. Once they’ve solved the situation at hand, they’re greeted with a congratulatory “Mission Accomplished”� banner.



M-Lab however, goes far above and beyond the standard protocol for children’s playthings. The space was designed in collaboration with Motorola and Gensler, a self-proclaimed “global design, planning and strategic consulting firm.” The M-Lab lures passer-bys with its façade — clad in stark aluminum and panelite — which contrasts with the surrounding “quaint village” motif. Inside there are seven chambers, each meticulously designed depending on the room’s task at hand. The end result is a realistic series of rooms that embrace each child’s fantasy of becoming the next influential innovator. By L. Harper

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August 13 2007



We’ve been running into amazing walls recently (not literally, of course, or at least not physically) and this is giving us reassurance that “contractor beige” is not the only wall colour imaginable or acceptable. So, you can imagine the grins on our faces when we discovered E-Glue. The 3 month old French based company started by designers who create super-fun wall adhesives for kids rooms. The creative duo create all the illustrations and hand-make all the products. They ship worldwide but we see no reason to spoil the kids with such extravagance. We are ordering some for the office. By Tuija Seipel





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