Revealing the relationship between furniture and play: an informative tool for designers
Topping, Marisa Khe
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Relationships between furniture and children s play are examined in this research paper, with the purpose of connecting features in furniture to specific play activities. The focus of the research is children between the ages of 4 to 8 years old in the context of indoor play at home. An image survey of furniture created for children s use displays a range of attributes and aesthetics designed into children s furniture. A collage study conducted with designers, parents and teachers reveals the perception of furniture s use and anticipated attractiveness to children by analyzing each item s characteristics. Trace observation of how children manipulate their home environment and home interviews with parents provide opportunities for a detailed description of children s play activities linked to specific pieces of furniture. Child interviews conducted for a National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) sponsored research project for the study of Inclusive Indoor Play provided information on children s preferences with respect to indoor play at home. This research paper discusses how the combined data of these four studies links distinct furniture features to specific play activities. The resulting data proposes an informative tool to be used by designers to create furniture more conducive to children s play.