The idea for The Playful Chair was inspired by an upholstery examination. One of the test pieces was to design a child’s chair. I have grandchildren who do not sit on chairs….they inhabit them. They play with them. We read stories on chairs and then turn them upside down and make dens with sheets. Children are not limited by what a thing is designed for – they use it for what they want it to be. To an adult, a chair is a utilitarian piece of furniture. To a child, it is a seat of the imagination: something to read on, play with, be inspired by.
One of my granddaughters had a series of books about underwater adventures, so when I needed inspiration for my exam piece, I thought a chair featuring fish and seaweed and a treasure chest would fit the bill. The idea for adding removable soft toys ‘just came’ as so many ideas do. The first chair was quickly followed by others and so The Playful Chair was born: a series of chairs for children, on as many different themes as can be imagined, but all featuring removable soft toys and place to hide or store small treasures.