NEW DESIGN FOR THE CHILDREN’S PLAYROOM
Ann Morsing and Beban Nord have created a dollhouse for 21st Century children.
By Cia Wedin, copyright 2005, and translated from the Swedish by Patricia Harrington
The following article, written in Swedish, appeared in Elle Interiör #4/2005.
Permission to translate and print it has been granted by the Deputy Editor, Lotta Lewenhaupt, and the author Cia Wedin. The translator provided the footnote.
FOUR FLOORS UP in an old industrial building in Södermalm, Stockholm, Ann Morsing and Beban Nord have their architects’ office. Together they constitute the successful duo “Box Design/Arkitekter,” well-known for the quality of the smallest details in interior furnishings and the extraordinary international sense in their furniture designs.
Lundby/Micki Leksaker AB thought this was the perfect combination and contacted them: “We need a modern house with several play areas.” Of course, thought the Box Design women, and they began what would turn out to be one of the most fun-filled projects with which they have been involved.
“It has meant a completely new way of thinking during this process,” said Beban. “We have tried to transport ourselves back to our own childhoods and to remember what triggered playing!”
Ann and Beban have had the help of Lundby’s long experience with dollhouses, which first came out in 1945, but their own children have also acted as a field-test group.
“We used the children to help us check every part, to make sure it aroused a desire to play with it, and that it was experienced as something fine in the children’s eyes.”
Opportunities for playing have been expanded to several levels; instead of children only playing in front of the house or inside the rooms, there are new play areas on the roof, on a deck in the middle section, on the stairs, and in a drawer which contains a patio and a pool and can be pulled out!
It is important that the house is clearly a toy, sturdy enough to be used, and not just a model for adults interested in it for the sake of design. So it has become a toy, which presumably some adults will also long for, because the house is very good-looking. And who doesn’t want to have a pool to pull out!
When two interior-design architects create a dollhouse, there is wellthought-out interior decoration, of course, and the classical dollhouse furniture doesn’t necessarily fit well. Consequently, they took their own designs and re-drew them in miniformat. As cute as can be, and thus connects Lundby/Micki to the design collections of the 1960s, when this author, among others, played pretend with Jacobsen’s sofa “Svanen” [The Swan] in red felt and his turquoise swivel-chair.2
contact Patricia Harrington for permission to use the translation,
- Photos of Arne Jacobsen’s furniture may be viewed by accessing his work at www.google.com. The miniature versions were manufactured by Brio and some of the items can be seen in the Brio catalogs posted on http://dollhouse.mine.nu.
- The architicts, Ann Morsing and Beban Nord, may be reached at www.boxdesign.se