KidSpace: Rothko but happier

Rothko Tile Page

Presumably everyone has heard of Mark Rothko. We were particularly attracted to his works early on in our explorations into art. Except that by that time he was famous and therefore unaffordable for the average small collector. We recently found an artist whose work suddenly prompted stirrings within–not felt since we saw Light Red over Black (1957) by Rothko at the Tate Modern several years ago.

Eileen R Miller’s art is strong and beautiful. She earned a BFA in painting from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1979. She lives and paints from Wilmette, IL. She has exhibited at several places in Illinois and in New York. We found her at the Architectural Digest Home Design Show and loved her work.

Perfect piece of REAL ART for your little tyke’s room. If all goes well for Eileen, it may also serve as their college fund!

The Medium Series
The Medium Series
The Light Series
The Light Series
The Dark Series
The Dark Series

Also see: KidSpace, More KidSpace, Even More KidSpace, Yet more KidSpace

KidSpace: Church etc.

Who knew that Churches could be spaces that kids find interesting? But we have a pre question: how did so many children find their way to church in the first place? In such an organized manner? And are sitting quietly?

Now while we agree that this is indeed odd, it is also clear that a well designed church (Name one that isnt…) is an architectural beauty to behold. The structure IS the design. No other embellishment required.

But we bet you anything that the kids were watching the stained glass behind the teacher…

KidSpace: And still more water…

As a follow up to the “Water Water Everywhere article“, we are happy to post a fabulous picture from New York based photographer Cornelis Verwaal. This picture is titled “Carefree” and is an example of children’s interaction with water at Columbus Circle fountains in New York.

We think this picture is so beautiful that it deserves its own post:

©2010 Cornelis Verwaal

For more of his breathtaking work, please visit his site here.

KidSpace: Water Water Everywhere

So raise hands, who all love water?

We all cannot do without it, but the strangest thing happens when it starts to come down as rain. We all run away from it as if it will melt us. Some of our crew had this experience recently in the rain showers on the East Coast. We were taking a walk and suddenly there was this downpour. Amid much screaming, there were people running for cover and huddling under awnings.

And then there was this 3 year old, who could not figure out what all the mad rush was about. This kid just looked on at the rain and enjoyed it with his mum. They both got wet, nice and thoroughly, smiling the entire time at each other. It was refreshing to watch someone put that cloudburst in perspective.

Which brings us back to our real focus-water. More importantly, water fixtures in a public setting and how children react to them. We have yet to see a child who can resist a jump in a puddle left-over from the rain, or a splash in a fountain on a hot day. Many a walk to Columbus Circle on a warm NY summer night finds children, adults and dogs having a blast in its cool fountains.

And then there is the serene water sculpture/installation outside the Jewish Holocaust Museum in downtown NY. That too has its fans. Finally the water barriers/fountain at World Financial Centre. See for yourself:

KidSpace: Fun Doodles

Found an interesting place recently. A place where children can doodle freely, for the entire day if they choose, and whatever they draw can be converted to a book, a planner or even a canvas.

Introducing Scribble Press. A one of a kind studio where kids do what they do and SP helps them convert it into something long lasting and memorable.

We are loving the colors!

KidSpace: The city is my canvas!

Continuing with the KidSpace Project- this is a typical example of what qualifies. A sheltered street, low through traffic (fewer disapproving adults), textured grey wall and some chalk. Voila- personal canvas is born!



KidSpace: Children’s M of M

Now where would one find a space that was best designed to engage kids? Naturally the Children’s Museum. We expected everything there to draw us and our little “tester” in. There were many toys, and many things to play with, but very few DESIGN elements, that were engaging to a child.

It is hard to explain so we are going to try to outline some criterion:

We are looking for things that are NOT only and obviously toys. They are NOT decals (of Diego, or Spongebob, George, etc.) We are looking for things that are part of the spatial expression of a room, and by their intended presence, draw a child, or a child-like adult in. They could even be a different kind of interpretation of a traditional activity that kids do, like paint or make a mess. And they could simply be elements that we have never seen before…

Its kind of subjective, but we hope to clarify our intentions through the process of finding actual elements of DESIGN that define or engage a space for a child so you’ll see what we mean. For instance, take this blackboard at Children’s Museum of Manhattan:

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It is part of the space.

It is a design element (wall painted black) but it is engaging to a child because of its intended use, height and the colored chalk lying around.

The chalk holder is bolted onto the board.Yes, the potholes are filled with colored liquid, and can be rotated! It is simple, elegant and was one of the more popular kid attractions.

Kid Space

Introducing our new pet project: KID SPACE

For a while now, we have been interested in this idea of how children’s spaces are different from ours. It is not necessary to have toys in a space for it to engage a child. In fact we find that our 3 year old tester finds fun in the most unobvious places- the bar of a scaffolding becomes a hanging beam, a strategically places toilet roll holder becomes a steering wheel, a clothes hook is an elephant with its trunk up- you get the idea!

So to honor active imaginations of our youngest generation, and to explore design from their perspective, we are going to dedicate the next few posts to children’s spaces (design and details) that we find intriguing or those that we consider huge success because they cater to the littlest folks in the best way.