A small armchair to feel big in
At first glance, they look the same, the large and the small STRANDMON. But there is a great deal that differs between them. So when we made a children's version of this classic armchair we based it on children's sizes, how they sit – and how they don't sit when the armchair suddenly transforms into a desert island or space rocket. As a child, to have one's own, safe and comfortable armchair in the right size is more important than what us adults may think.
You certainly did the same as a child; imagined that you were driving a car, working at the office, cooking food ... All those things that mothers, fathers and other adults did. Children also do this today. The fact is that it's an important and valuable game, regardless of time in history, says British Child Psychologist Barbie Clarke, who has extensively researched about children and their development.
"To mimic adults is a way for children to recreate the things they have experienced so that they can understand the world around them and how they fit in it."
When listening to Barbie explain, it's not surprising that POÄNG armchair, which we made in a children's size a number of years ago, was so appreciated. This success led product developer Nicolas Cortolezzis and his colleagues to look at our armchair range with somewhat of a new pair of eyes. Which other armchair could be appreciated by children if the size was adapted?
Adapted for small bodies
The choice fell on STRANDMON, a classic wing chair inspired by one of our armchairs from the early 1950s.
"It's timeless and cosy and has an immersive design, kind of like sitting in a protective hug, stuck in your own sphere", explains Nicolas.
But to make a children's version is not just about shrinking the size of the adult armchair. Or, one could do that, but it would not be particularly comfortable and probably ignored by children.
"Children do not have the same proportions as adults and they don't sit like we do. They move around and like to put their feet up, which is why we made a fixed seat instead of having a loose cushion in the adult version."
Nicolas and his team worked a lot with safety and ergonomics to make the children's version stable and welcomes children with a sort of sit-as-you-like attitude. Among other things, the legs where positioned differently and thus had a centre of gravity which is adapted to how children use the armchair.
The value of feet reaching the floor
If you get up really close to a large and small STRANDMON, you will see more differences. As for the fabric ─ we know the durability required when the armchair is not only a place to sit. Sometimes it should be used as a desert island or the world's highest mountain.
To have your own small armchair is not just about copying a mother, father or grandfather. A child needs to be accepted and seen as the little human they are.
"Adults often forget how small children actually are", says Barbie. But if children are allowed to sit in a chair in their own size, and actually reach the floor with their feet, they feel more involved in their surroundings. Just as they have their own books, television programmes and other things adapted to their own size and age. It really is essential for them."