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Learning or playing? SPILO modular furniture for preschoolers

Dobrawa Bies
27 of July '21

The set of multifunctional furniture for children is a project by Aleksandra Basa from the Interior Design Department of the J. Matejko Academy of Fine Arts in Cracow. SPILO consists of four elements, and its design allows small users to configure the furniture independently, which promotes the development of motor skills and spatial thinking.

Aleksandra Basa designed the SPILO furniture set as part of her bachelor's degree on the subject of childhood. The project was created under the direction of Dr. Marek Blazucki, Prof. of the Academy of Fine Arts, and Anna Markowska in the 2nd Studio of Designing Furniture and Interior Elements.

The main form of a child's activity is play, and the best play is one that teaches. To meet children's imagination, I created a set of multifunctional furniture to which the child can give new purposes. The child, determining new functions of the object, at the same time develops motor skills and spatial thinking," says the author.

Mata i siedzisko
SPILO

The set also includes a mat

© Aleksandra Basa

modular furniture for preschoolers

SPILO is designed for users from 3 to 7 years old. The set consists of four elements, which are: seat frame, seat, mat and tabletop plane. Thoughtful design allows the small user to configure the furniture independently, and the weight and dimensions of the items have been adjusted to the height of a preschool child.

The name of the SPILO set was formed from the combination of the German word spiel, meaning game, play, with the letter "o". The round shape of the vowel refers to the round forms of the items, the designer explains.

Rysunki techniczne
taboretu Taboret z siedziskiem

Matching the elements requires precision from the child

© Aleksandra Basa

inspired by blocks

The first element of the system is the seat frame. The shape of the solid has been inspired by LEGO bricks, and thanks to the cut-outs on one axis and the addition of identical elements underneath, it is possible to connect the modules in two directions. Regardless of the side of positioning of the first module, it is possible to put another one on top of it. The elements can be expanded vertically, forming a tower, or after turning the module - horizontally, building a tunnel. Color variation allows you to create many arrangements. Stacking the elements exercises the child's concentration, as it requires him to be precise in matching the protruding parts of one element with the notch places of the other.

Projekt pozwala na
budowanie wieży Budowa tunelu

Elements can be combined to form a tower or tunnel

© Aleksandra Basa

matching seat and mat

Another component of the set is the seat, the symmetrical design of which means that regardless of the side in which it is applied to the frame, the little user gets an identical piece of furniture.

Although the choice of side does not matter, but the placement of the seat in the frame itself requires more attention from the child. The round handles must be placed in the places of the semi-circular notches of the frame. The activity of installing the seat develops the child' s dexterity and forces him to be accurate, Aleksandra Basa adds.

Mata tworzy oparcie
siedziska Blat roboczy

The mat forms the back of the seat, and an additional element of the set is the work surface

© Aleksandra Basa

The last modular element of the SPILO set is the mat. It consists of seven identical longitudinal strips, marking the breaking lines of the plane. Its size depended on the circumference of the stool and the height needed to create comfortable support for the small user's back. The plane was not accidentally divided into seven parts. The division is dictated by the function of the backrest. The odd number of rectangular strips means that when the mat is wrapped around the stool, the middle module falls in place of the rear seat handle, and three modules are left on each side to fill the remaining space between the handles.

Mata wchodzi w skład
SPILO

when inverted, the top becomes a chaise longue

© Aleksandra Basa

tabletop or chaise longue?

An integral part of the set is the tabletop, which coexists with the other modules. It was created by juxtaposing two curved surfaces. The larger one was divided by the author in such a way that the longer part forms a worktop, and the shorter one is the base. The smaller one, in the form of a gutter, was matched to the notches in the stool - it makes it possible to connect the elements, while also being a space for storing crayons or markers. However, when turned, the top becomes the base of the chaise longue. In this version, two connected modules of the mat complete the furniture. The mat can also be used independently directly on the floor or become a stage for creative play.

Zestaw mebli SPILO

SPILO consists of four elements made of natural raw materials

© Aleksandra Basa

The materials used by the author are mostly from natural raw materials and include plywood, wood, felt, upholstery foam and upholstery fabric. The finish of the pieces is safe for small users.

The project received an award in this year's 10th edition of the Young at the Start competition.

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