Thursday, October 12, 2006

Kid stuff

I thought it would be appropriate to write something about this because the Philippines has a huge untapped kids market. I think even with the economic crunch, parents here still find the budget to give their kids the best that they can afford. Miss TFM herself is busy planning my godchild's 1st birthday party (woohoo!). From childrenswear, to childrens parties, schools, to toys, and gadgets, there's still so many opportunities in this market.

excerpts from

Cool design does not have to be limited to spaces used by adults as we see with these unique areas designed to enhance places of learning. Forget the "concrete jungle" archetypal school, complete with bars on windows. This school's hallways (pictured above) have been inspired by the imaginary landscape of the Silver Dragon. This environment is created to read like a story book; the further you progress through the hallways, the higher your senses are delighted. With shimmering walls, glowing ceilings and a fantasy feel resonating throughout the architecture, the children engage on a higher social level within the school environment.

Traditionally, libraries also suffer from an image problem. Hordes of books coupled with the 'sshhhh' factor doesn't make for a very cool environment. By installing colorful interiors such as oversized book sleeves, a learning space such as the library is transformed into an area which kids see as cool, and therefore are inspired to read and learn.

A tree-inspired day care center is a far cry from fake grass enhanced playgrounds. The tree trunk is the very foundation of the center, and as such creates the security blanket for the entire structure. This center evokes a warmth which the youngsters respond to. Dream Blossoms grow out of the trunk and create sleeping areas for the habitants to snuggle and nap in. Above the blossoms sprawls the canopy of the Leaves World. These reflective silver leaves magically reflect rays of sunlight and directs this warm light into the dimly lit trunk, bringing the outside in.

Children's bookstores, on the other hand, have not suffered by the traditional libraries image problem. Generally, these stores are designed and merchandised to inspire children to enter and purchase. The Kids Republic bookstore in Beijing (pic below) has taken that concept and run with it. Incorporating the core design elements of a kid's playground, these slipperyslide-inspired-shelves house books in an incredibly fun way. Breaking from the traditional table and chair reading areas, padded L shaped reading stools are used and enjoyed by tiny readers. Dull lighting is replaced by snakelike fittings that radiate a variety of colors whilst providing adequate light to read with.




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