New Books Tackle Design for Kids, by Kids

Eames dreams. A kid-crafted version of the House of Cards, one of 52 design projects in Todd Oldham’s Kid Made Modern.

Dear UnBeige,
My six-year-old son, Alex, shows no interest in art or design. When I try to suggest museum trips or watching Ovation TV, he just shakes his head and asks to watch CSPAN. What should I do?
–Perplexed in Pasadena

Dear Perplexed,
At the risk of sounding like the slightly off-kilter (if well-meaning) woman who managed the library of our elementary school, we suspect the answer to your problem can be solved with books—one for you and one for young Alex. A great way to encourage kids to engage with the creative world is to give them a visually stimulating space of their own. Susanna Salk offers up inspiring examples in Room for Children: Stylish Spaces for Sleep and Play, new from Rizzoli. “It’s about understanding the importance of helping our children create a private world where they can discover who they are and all they were meant to be,” says Salk, who rounded up a diverse group of unique spaces designed by the likes of Kelly Wearstler, Thomas Jayne, Alessandra Branca, and Sixx Design, helmed by new Bravo-lebrities Cortney and Robert Novogratz. Meanwhile, Todd Oldham has brought his delightful DIY approach to a younger generation with Kid Made Modern (Ammo Books), a collection of crafty projects inspired by the legends of mid-century design. If the Calder-style mobile and Russel Wright-esque window decorations don’t excite, move straight to the projects dedicated to another Alex: Mr. Girard. We’ve yet to find a child who can resist his folksy charms. Harness the creative momentum for a field trip to The Huntington Library (in nearby San Marino), where “Child’s Play? Children’s Book Illustration of 19th-Century Britain” is on view through July 26.

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Publish date: May 6, 2010 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT