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Saturday 8 September 2012

20th Design - Tripp Trapp®

I'm a lover of style, beauty and simplicity in design. Clean lines, sensuous curves, stark angular shapes, Art Deco, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Clarice Cliff, BauhausEames
Yet when challenged with writing about my favourite 20th Century design, it simply had to be an icon that I have lived with and used for the last ten years, the Stokke® Tripp Trapp®.

Stokke Tripp Trapp 2012
Stokke® Tripp Trapp® 2012
When I was pregnant with Sonny back in 2000, I spent hours searching through magazines hoping to find alternatives to the standard plastic baby product hell that was ready to engulf me. I wasn't ready to loose my identity and my home just because I was about to become a parent again. My search seemed fruitless and then just before I gave birth, I found it.
IT, was to become the object of my desire for nearly two whole years before it became part of my life but by that point I was properly hooked and in the space of two short weeks I owned not one but two and my love for it would actually go on to shape my career and my whole life.

It is of course the Stokke® Tripp Trapp®, the chair designed back in 1972 (the year I was born), that  would revolutionise children's seating. Thanks to designer Peter Opsvik, a child could now sit comfortably and ergonomically at a table, no matter their age or size. But that's not why I fell in love with it.
For me, it's quite simply the simplicity and beautify of form and even after ten years in my life, I still get a random chill when I look at it from certain angles. Crazy right?!

Stokke Tripp Trapp 1972
Stokke® Tripp Trapp® 1972
My Tripp Trapp® story has a little twist though because in 2003 Stokke® launched their first ever pushchair and they were looking for someone to handle the PR launch in the UK.
With my near obsessive product love and a new baby in hand, I was clearly the right choice for the job.

The last nine years has seen many changes in my life but Sonny's original Tripp Trapp® sits at my kitchen table alongside Biba's, Betty's, Yan's and mine. It's looking weathered, lived in, loved.
Sit on someone else's Tripp Trapp® in this house and you are taking your life into your hands.
It's not simply a chair, its an extension of their being. If you want someone to take ownership of something in this house, or simply for them to put it away, you put it on their Tripp Trapp.
If they want to eat...ever...then their Tripp Trapp needs not to be covered in stuff.
Its a great ploy that I've developed over the years. It works, so if you have kids and Tripp Trapp's I suggest you engage this tactic without delay.

When a product is celebrated time and time again by leading designers, historians and curators around the world you know it's pretty special.
Tripp Trapp® celebrates its 40th birthday this year yet this iconic chair is still modern in every single way.
I've had the pleasure of spending time with Tripp Trapp's designer, Peter Opsvik. He's inspiring, calming, practical and amazing. Traits you can see oozing out of each and every one of the products he has crafted throughout his career.

Peter Opsvik original Tripp Trapp development sketches
Peter Opsvik's original Tripp Trapp® development sketches
I asked him once, how the chair that he created 40 years ago was still being hailed as the epitome of modern design. He replied that he simply didn't follow fashion and of course he is spot on. If Tripp Trapp® had been inspired by early 70's design it would now look very dated indeed.

Do take time to visit Peter Opsvik's website to be inspired by more of his designs. If there is one chair that I would love in my life more than any other it is Garden. I live in hope that I will one day discover one of these amazing chairs on the market. I WANT!

This is my entry into Little Greene's 20th Century Design competition. Find out more at
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