5 things we loved at Milan Design Week

5 things we loved at Milan Design Week

2015-04-24 - Proving that kid’s design doesn’t have to be childish, we offer our top 5 picks from Milan Design Week.

Bugaboo was in Milan to visit the Salone del Mobile 2015, a yearly event showcasing the latest furniture designs, innovations, interiors and products by both established companies and autonomous young designers. In the past few years, design for children has become increasingly popular and offerings have become broader than IKEA alone. See our top picks from Milan Design Week below!

Make History – this small company creates products that store memories, such as a beautifully designed time capsule, little quote jar and growth chart. Make History owner Anouk van der El’s first project was the time capsule, inspired by artist Andy Warhol ‘s time capsule 21 project, in which he collected and stored the remains of his life in 612 brown cardboard boxes. After the birth of her first child, Anouk went in search of a gift, something that would hold memories yet something tangible. A time capsule seemed like the perfect idea. Now the box is popular with new parents, recently married couples or anyone wishing to store those special moments in their life.


Kalon – When an L.A.-based creative writer and a German-born designer got together, they discovered more than their love for one another; locally-produced, sustainable furniture for kids was another shared passion and one they have cultivated since the birth of their first child. Here is an example of sophisticated design that children will love (but parents may love more) without being pretentious. Everything is designed in the US but materials are sourced locally (both in the US and Europe), making sure products have a low carbon footprint. Made with certified wood, leather, bio-degradable epoxy and all things non-toxic, the beds, cabinets, stools and tipis by Kalon design look as good as they sound. So much so, that the design duo have been rewarded with a 2014 Martha Stewart American Made Award.


photo: Davide Zanoni

Melina for Kids ­– born from the idea of using napkins as dolls in post-war Italy when there was little to no money for toys, designer Valia Barriello created a series of napkins featuring printed doll’s faces.  The napkins (Melina for the girls and Pallino for the boys) are folded in a certain way to resemble figures, as such a simple everyday object becomes an imaginative toy.


Studio Sybrandy – Not exactly a new product by Dutch designer Nynke Sybrandy, but certainly one that falls under the concept of design for (big) kids, the Homo bulla est. What at first seems to be a simple silver spoon is actually a device for blowing bubbles. Sybrandy’s study of bubbles has resulted in a new series called Supernova, a cosmic print on woollen blankets that glows in the dark, just like the night sky.


Spliner – We simply had to include at least one toy in this list, and Maarten Olden’s Spliner cars are such a far cry from multi-coloured plastic that they are almost design objects in themselves. Made from ash wood, the blocks of wood are sawed lengthways and repositioned to create their recognisable shape. Add rubber wheels and you have an almost indestructible toy for all ages.


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