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The Modern Family Zone

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The Modern Family Zone was a respite for Dwell on Design attendees with young children, with all manner of cool and stylish coloring, playing and resting opportunities. My six-year-old tried everything, with her favorites being the Tatolino and Gregg Fleishman’s awesome M-4 Playgoda.

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  Turkish-born Rana Ottaviani, who lives in Seattle with her Italian husband and two young children, designed the Tatolino (Italian slang for “little potato”) of EVA foam for kids age one to 12 and beyond. Child after child in the Modern Family Zone pounced, sat, bounced and rode upon the versatile, three-pronged forgiving form. When flat, it can serve as a seat, table or the ultimate item for pre-walkers to pull up on; turned on its side it becomes a comfy, high-backed chair or striped horsey. Made for RO2 Design Studio in Seattle.  Photo by Peter Williams.
    Turkish-born Rana Ottaviani, who lives in Seattle with her Italian husband and two young children, designed the Tatolino (Italian slang for “little potato”) of EVA foam for kids age one to 12 and beyond. Child after child in the Modern Family Zone pounced, sat, bounced and rode upon the versatile, three-pronged forgiving form. When flat, it can serve as a seat, table or the ultimate item for pre-walkers to pull up on; turned on its side it becomes a comfy, high-backed chair or striped horsey. Made for RO2 Design Studio in Seattle. Photo by Peter Williams.
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  A refreshing antidote to the conformist wood-and-metal play structure, the M-4 Playgoda, an interlocking, zero-hardware Finnish-ply climbing structure by Gregg Fleishman, attracted hoards of children to its center spot in the Modern Family Zone. It’s sturdy, customizable, easy to install (this full-playground-size model is erected in 45 minutes, broken down even more quickly and easily stored in pieces), and looks like nothing we’ve ever seen in the schoolyard. “My initial purpose was to develop housing, and I developed this along the way, as it’s much smaller and simpler,” says Fleishman, whose adult-size ply pagoda made a beautiful addition across the room at Dwell Outdoor.  Photo by Peter Williams.
    A refreshing antidote to the conformist wood-and-metal play structure, the M-4 Playgoda, an interlocking, zero-hardware Finnish-ply climbing structure by Gregg Fleishman, attracted hoards of children to its center spot in the Modern Family Zone. It’s sturdy, customizable, easy to install (this full-playground-size model is erected in 45 minutes, broken down even more quickly and easily stored in pieces), and looks like nothing we’ve ever seen in the schoolyard. “My initial purpose was to develop housing, and I developed this along the way, as it’s much smaller and simpler,” says Fleishman, whose adult-size ply pagoda made a beautiful addition across the room at Dwell Outdoor. Photo by Peter Williams.
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  Emerson House by Brinca Dada is a teeny two-story modernist dream house with floor-to-ceiling sliding doors, mitered glass corners and real, working solar panels powering the lights throughout. It is the brainchild of cofounders Douglas Rollins (a former Toys R’ Us buyer) and Tim Boyle, who named the house for the street he once lived on. The nontoxic dollhouse opens completely, like the classic Fisher-Price yellow playhouse, and closes back up nice and tidy. Come Fall, a whole houseful of little furniture, from a Philippe Starck–like tub, tiny modern chaises and mini minimalist beds, will also be available.  Photo by Peter Williams.
    Emerson House by Brinca Dada is a teeny two-story modernist dream house with floor-to-ceiling sliding doors, mitered glass corners and real, working solar panels powering the lights throughout. It is the brainchild of cofounders Douglas Rollins (a former Toys R’ Us buyer) and Tim Boyle, who named the house for the street he once lived on. The nontoxic dollhouse opens completely, like the classic Fisher-Price yellow playhouse, and closes back up nice and tidy. Come Fall, a whole houseful of little furniture, from a Philippe Starck–like tub, tiny modern chaises and mini minimalist beds, will also be available. Photo by Peter Williams.
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  While enrolled at FIDM, Heather Gallagher was paired with Pivot Furniture to produce a design for a class, and she came up with the Bloom Table playset, in striking organic European walnut with a hand-laid veneer. When closed, it appears as a sculptural side table; when open, it becomes a well-designed table and chairs for crafts or eating, with hand-laid veneers in a starburst pattern on top, a butterfly design on the base and book-matched waterfall on the outside, as well as a hidden acrylic storage tray in each chair. This set, which can be made in big sizes too, is a divine multipurpose solution for a small house.  Photo by Peter Williams.
    While enrolled at FIDM, Heather Gallagher was paired with Pivot Furniture to produce a design for a class, and she came up with the Bloom Table playset, in striking organic European walnut with a hand-laid veneer. When closed, it appears as a sculptural side table; when open, it becomes a well-designed table and chairs for crafts or eating, with hand-laid veneers in a starburst pattern on top, a butterfly design on the base and book-matched waterfall on the outside, as well as a hidden acrylic storage tray in each chair. This set, which can be made in big sizes too, is a divine multipurpose solution for a small house. Photo by Peter Williams.
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  The Pebble infant mattress, part of the Nook Sleep Systems, was a popular Saturday spot. The mattress is extremely comfortable, nubby and smart: The asymmetrical pebble pattern is designed to increase airflow, a wool layer creates a nontoxic, fire-resistant barrier, an air layer increases ventilation inside the mattress, and a natural latex core ensures healthy durability. Its accompanying bed, with a storage area underneath, is a happy place for families to kick back during the show.  Photo by Peter Williams.
    The Pebble infant mattress, part of the Nook Sleep Systems, was a popular Saturday spot. The mattress is extremely comfortable, nubby and smart: The asymmetrical pebble pattern is designed to increase airflow, a wool layer creates a nontoxic, fire-resistant barrier, an air layer increases ventilation inside the mattress, and a natural latex core ensures healthy durability. Its accompanying bed, with a storage area underneath, is a happy place for families to kick back during the show. Photo by Peter Williams.
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  Paul Frank added a colorful booth to the children’s area filled with Julius bicycles, helmets, phone covers and Frank-y trinkets irresistible to kids and grown-ups alike. Julius stopped by for a real-life visit Sunday from 1 to 3 pm.  Photo by Peter Williams.
    Paul Frank added a colorful booth to the children’s area filled with Julius bicycles, helmets, phone covers and Frank-y trinkets irresistible to kids and grown-ups alike. Julius stopped by for a real-life visit Sunday from 1 to 3 pm. Photo by Peter Williams.
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  Go ahead, let them write all over the walls: One coat of the water-based IdeaPaint turns an entire child’s room into a huge dry-erase board compatible with AP non-toxic pens. Specifically for the show, the company rolled a layer onto a playhouse that nearly every child at the conference tagged; it will be erased clean and donated to Habitat for Humanity.  Photo by Peter Williams.
    Go ahead, let them write all over the walls: One coat of the water-based IdeaPaint turns an entire child’s room into a huge dry-erase board compatible with AP non-toxic pens. Specifically for the show, the company rolled a layer onto a playhouse that nearly every child at the conference tagged; it will be erased clean and donated to Habitat for Humanity. Photo by Peter Williams.
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  Made mostly from reclaimed milk jugs, the recycled, recyclable, weatherproof and heavy-duty Adirondack 4 Slat Flat chairs from loll designs easily held everyone who passed through for a rest, from small toddlers to my nearly six-foot-tall 13-year-old son.  Photo by Peter Williams.
    Made mostly from reclaimed milk jugs, the recycled, recyclable, weatherproof and heavy-duty Adirondack 4 Slat Flat chairs from loll designs easily held everyone who passed through for a rest, from small toddlers to my nearly six-foot-tall 13-year-old son. Photo by Peter Williams.

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