Exhibit shows how children impact design

July 26, 2012 3:07:21 PM PDT
We all are a child within, and curator Juliet Kinchin wants to get people thinking about the child, and how children have impacted design since 1900.

We are not just talking about toys. Century of the Child at the Museum of Modern Art contains more than 500 items. There are educational elements, furniture, play rooms, animation and art work. Some of it is uplifting, while some of it is dark.

There are kimonos for kids ? while they are sweet from afar, but up close they are images of war. An Italian panel from the 1921 features the bad child and disturbing characters ? however, it's not all negative.

"Design can help children process some of those fears and anxieties," said Kinchin.

Over the years, children have increasingly had more power as consumers, influencing not just design but content. Often that content appeals to both the actual child and the inner child of an adult.

If you take Pee-Wee's playhouse for example, and tap into that inner child, you get that youthful spirit and an urge to play. Maybe that is something adults should do a little more of.

Century of the Child runs through November 5th at MoMa.

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