MOBIJunior : Kids + Design
MOBIJunior
Kids + Design
Elsa Sarfata, May 5, 2008
Ultimo Grito_Ed. Magis
Ultimo Grito_Ed. Magis


The VIA Gallery shows the exhibition ‘MOBI Junior', a selection of fifty pieces of furniture for children, of French and foreign origin. These products will neighbour with prototypes developed from the imagination of primary school kids in workshops held during the first ‘MOBIDécouverte - Les Enfants Designers' sessions, an original teaching initiative by which pupils and teachers from partner schools worked with designers. ‘MOBI Junior' is a show for the general public as much as for interior design and life-style professionals, especially those working in the domain of new solutions for children's rooms. For the first time it brings together imaginary works with pieces available on the market and designed in the spirit of the ‘MOBI Charter' (see inset), a direct outgrowth of the results of sessions 1 and 2 of the ‘MOBIDécouverte - Les Enfants Designers' programme.

Arnaud Guillorel_Ed. Kidea
Arnaud Guillorel_Ed. Kidea


The aims of ‘MOBI Junior' are a natural follow-on from this ambitious programme, which was launched in 1998 by the IFA (French Furnishing Industries) and is now actively supported by three ministries: National Education; Economy, Finances & Employment; and Culture & Communication. 
Besides presenting a selection of products to the public, the major objective of ‘MOBI Junior' is to demonstrate the keen interest shown by French furniture makers in developing new ranges of products for kids. In doing so they are extending the main lines of thought and the creative avenues opened up by ‘MOBIDécouverte - Les Enfants Designers'.

Keith Haring_Ed. Vilac
Keith Haring_Ed. Vilac


The show also aims at seizing the potential market opportunities both in France and abroad, for the following reasons: the importance of children in contemporary society – ‘Chosen Children' – and the fact that France has an advantage in having one of the highest birth rates in all of Europe; the burgeoning interest of French families in home improvement; the increase in family expenditure for laying out children's rooms; the development potential for supplying products in phase with the new life-styles of young families, and the opening up of a top-of-the-market segment. While professionals at large are keeping a close eye on evolving trends in fitting out living spaces for the 5 to17 year-old age group, by mounting the ‘MOBI Junior' exhibition VIA is pursuing its mission of valorizing and promoting innovation and creativeness in home furnishing and life-style products.

Delphine Magisson_Ed. Carton Design
Delphine Magisson_Ed. Carton Design


‘MOBIDécouverte - Les Enfants Designers' An exemplary and innovative project 
The ‘MOBIDécouverte - Les Enfants Designers' programme was launched by the IFA (French Furnishing Industries) in 1998 with the support of the CODIFA (Committee for the Development of French Furnishing Industries). Since 2002, it has had the active support of the ministry for National Education. Its aim is to: Increase the awareness of children concerning notions of design and habitat; solicit their expectations concerning the fitting out of the spaces they live in; Introduce primary school children and their teachers to the world of furniture design and manufacture; launch dynamic new approaches in the profession; mobilize firms, Apprenticeship Training Centres (CFA), and the Association for Professional Training in the Furnishing Industries (AFPIA); 
Promote French furnishing firms and industries and valorize their creative and innovative qualities. This ground-breaking workshop programme targets primary school kids - CP to CM2 -, who with their teachers and the assistance of a designer engage in a ‘MOBIDécouverte - Les Enfants Designers' session.

MobiDecouverte_Silhouette
MobiDecouverte_Silhouette


Leblon_Delienne
Leblon_Delienne


In sessions 1 and 2, some 60 furniture projects or concepts emerged from the work done by the kids, and with the help of a professional designer were developed to real-size prototypes by a manufacturer working with the UNIFA, the CFA - AFPIA, or a professional training establishment associated to the operation. Prototypes exhibited in public and professional venues, in various prestige locations all over France, have met with outright success (over 700 000 visitors to date): general public, professionals, institutions and medias. These first experiences have also confirmed the interest of French and international buyers for this type of original concept. Session 3 of ‘MOBIDécouverte - Les Enfants Designers' has been carried out in relation with th ree ministries: National Education, Economy, Finances & Employment (MINEFE) and Culture & Communication. Many European countries have expressed the wish to develop the same methodology and will be hosting an itinerant exhibition of the ‘best-of Sessions 1 & 2'.

BabyCool
BabyCool


Arnaud Guillorel_Ed. Kidea
Arnaud Guillorel_Ed. Kidea


Sophie Zalssinger + Pierre Maffi_Ed. De la Maison de la Lena
Sophie Zalssinger + Pierre Maffi_Ed. De la Maison de la Lena


Over and above the objectives and ambitions of the initial project, which put the accent on educative, playful and demonstrative aspects, the impact of the concepts and prototypes presented generated keen interest on the part of the public, the professionals and media alike. Since the educational aspect of the initiative was one of the prime objectives of professionals, and commanded respect for a code of ethics, its implementation could in no way countenance the fabrication or commercialisation of projects imagined by the children. All the projects are patent protected by the registration of models. 
Elsewhere, the experimental nature of this programme has enabled the identification of certain characteristics specific to the design of products for children. The ‘MOBIDécouverte Charter' , as evolved from the observation of sessions 1 and 2, aims at defining the main principles and the compulsory criteria on which the initiative is based.

Sofa Kid's
Sofa Kid's


Pierre Delimard_Ed. Atelier T4
Pierre Delimard_Ed. Atelier T4