Joy & Creativity on Stage

Exploring the Century of Children’s Furniture at Centre Pompidou’s Exhibition in Paris

Marc Berthier Twenty tube (Ensemble) 1973

text Enrico Fragale Esposito


Paris, known for its artistic richness and cultural allure, is set to host a captivating exhibition that delves into the enchanting world of children’s furniture design. The Childhood of Design: A Century of Furniture for Children, featuring over 150 remarkable pieces from the Centre Pompidou’s esteemed collection, promises a delightful journey through the evolution of kid’s furniture in the 20th century.


In a time where childhood holds a significant place in societal discourse, this exhibition shines a spotlight on how the creation of children’s furniture has not only adapted to changing needs but has also sparked new realms of creativity and inspiration. From Germany to France, Denmark to Italy, renowned designers like Alvar and Aino Aalto, Charles & Ray Eames, Jean Prouvé, Nanna Ditzel, Bruno Munari, and Matali Crasset have explored the nuances of design dedicated to little ones.

the childhood of design_exhibition_Scimparello4
Gone are the days of simply miniaturizing adult furniture... children’s design has evolved into a distinct field, brimming with its own charm and functionality.

The exhibition is a journey starting in the early 20th that saw a shift in design, as education theories influenced furniture creation, showcased by the Bauhaus movement and Pierre Chareau’s innovative ideas. Step by step, visitors will be projected into post-industrial revolution, when architects like Marcel Lods and designers such as Marcel Gascoin pioneered children’s furniture with integrated learning and play spaces. Today, creators like Matali Crasset continue to push boundaries, infusing design with elements from childhood’s whimsical world.


For families visiting Paris with children during summer, this exhibition offers not just a glimpse into design history but a chance to spark curiosity and imagination.


The Childhood of Design: A Century of Furniture for Children.
running until August 12, 2024.
Centre Pompidou, Paris.


Cover picture: Walter Papst, Cheval à bascule, 1958
Image 1: Marc Berthier, Twenty tube (Ensemble), 1973
Image 2: Nanna Ditzel, Table et tabourets Trissen