05 January 2018


Only Chairs?

Children’s Chairs from Sammlung Neuwald

Die Neue Sammlung – The Design Museum, Munich

– 4 February 2018



The invention of the chair dates back to Antiquity whereas chairs made specifically for children have existed only since the 17th century when they were the preserve of nobility and bourgeoisie. Prior to this, there were chairs which were suitable for children, but they were simply adults’ chairs in a smaller format. It was not until progress was made by industrialisation that children’s chairs became a design genre in their own right. Since then, numerous designers have tackled the challenges posed by ergonomics and hygiene considerations in children’s chairs. The development of this type of furniture since the Biedermeier age is currently illustrated in an exhibition on show at Die Neue Sammlung in Munich.


The exhibition takes a look back over the design history of children’s chairs, showing developments in construction methods and the use of modern materials. Since the 1970s, Gisela Neuwald has collected more than 290 children’s chairs from around the world. In addition to traditional chairs, there are also design classics by Philippe Starck, Konstantin Grcic and Alvar Aalto. These have been studied and classified as part of a long-term research project conducted by the Chair of Spatial Arts and Lighting Design in the Department of Architecture at the Technical University of Munich. Inspired by this co-operation, Die Neue Sammlung is exhibiting sixty selected chairs that offer an overview of the development of children’s chairs from the Biedermeier period to the present day. The exhibition was curated by Anna-Sophia Reichelt in co-operation with Bettina-Maria Mueller. The exhibition is accompanied by a publication by Angelika Nollert.


Nº 281
Design and Archives

form Design Magazine

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