9 October 2015–13 March 2016
Design Museum’s main exhibition of the autumn season of 2015 assembles for the first time Nordic design aimed at children from the early 20th century to the present day. The title comes from an international pamphlet published in 1900 by the Swedish social reformer Ellen Key, declaring the 20th century to be the ‘century of the child’. In the background of the present exhibition is the popular Century of the Child: Growing by Design 1900 – 2000 exhibition curated by Juliet Kinch and Aidan O’Connor at MoMA in New York.
This exhibition seeks to illustrate the connections between products and environments designed for children and the development of Scandinavian and Nordic society. It features, among other items, furniture, toys, books, clothing, school architecture, playgrounds and public spaces, posters, advertisements, health-care and safety products, art projects, and aids for the disabled.
The exhibits include skilful achievements of Nordic design such as high chair 617 designed by Ben af Schultén for Artek and IKEA furniture. Also featured are internationally renowned names such as Alvar Aalto, Kay Bojesen, Olafur Eliasson and Tove Jansson. Pioneers of Finnish design for children include Kaj Franck, Artek, Lappset and the widely-known Maternity Package provided by Kela, the National Pensions Institute. The exhibition also explores the Nordic origins of internationally beloved brands such as BRIO, LEGO and Marimekko and presents modern innovations to larger audiences.
The exhibition architecture is by Elina and Klaus Aalto.
Design Museum has produced this exhibition in association with the Vandalorum Museum of Sweden and Designmuseum Danmark. It comes to Finland from Denmark.
The Century of the Child exhibition has received support from:
Photo: Merklit Mersha © 2012 Little Sun