Hello... I am an Italian mum of one and a half (a baby is on his way). I have been living in Berlin for few years but I was back in Italy when the time came to build the nest, and that's when I realized how design-poor the Italian baby market is. I was back home, in the country of great designers and craftsmen, the country of figures like Maria Montessori who influenced forever the way space is designed to fit kids' needs, yet I had to go on-line and buy abroad to find baby gears and decor items!
I had the feeling I had to tell other mums too, show them that it is indeed possible to find truly beautiful things for kids-friendly homes, and where to find them...Then in 2008 I visited the Milan furniture fair Salone del Mobile and saw so many inspiring design items that I decided to start blogging about design&kids. In this two years of blogging I had great fun and met lots of people.
With her motto "help me doing it myself" Maria Montessori introduced kids-sized furniture and equipment as educational material not just as practical items. One furniture item proposed by Maria Montessori is the floor bed that can be used as alternative to the traditional "cribs" from the age of 6 moths as the baby does not fit in the cot anymore.
For older kids my favorite pic instead the "Abitacolo" bed from Bruno Munari, an Italian artist and designer. He worked a lot with children introducing a new approach to art education. He also wrote and illustrated fantastic kid’s books.
Another italian designer that worked a lot with and for kids is Enzo Mari. I really love Mari's cupboard screen, a great toy and a furniture item that let kids create and design their own space autonomously.
In Italy we have a great paper production tradition and the Milan-based studio A4A design uses this knowledge to produce fantastic toys and decor elements, creative and eco-friendly! Even though the great craftsmanship Italian tradition and the culture of DIY got almost lost since the Italian economical boom of the '60 and ‘70s, the indy-crafters scene is getting jazzed up thanks to crafters like Contemori Bottega Creativa and DueManiNonBastano.
** Guest post written by Valentina from design per bambini