Lukas Lüttgen

Oktober / October - 2018

Folkwang Universität der Künste


VICO and KAA are cross-generational furniture concepts: Their open-ended design motivates creative use in play and everyday life and meets the needs of young and old. The flexible cushion KAA invites for common play. VICO is a piece of furniture whose open design offers a variety of functions.

What is the Topic?

The theme of the work is the conception of multifunctional and intergenerational pieces of furniture, providing not only one specific use, but leave room for interpretation of such. Since VICO and KAA merely hint at their functions, they can easily adapt to the needs of their users. Result is a multi-functionality, not arising through only added functions, but from the ambiguity of their form. Through this ambiguity, the objects are intended to hold surprises and remain usable throughout various stages of life, contribute to equal rights between the generations, encourage common play, promote motor skills and preserve creative thinking.

Why does it look like this?

Both objects have an abstract shape to remain adaptable in various situations and can be quickly transformed: While VICO consists of distinct geometric shapes and acquires new meanings through turning, the four-metre long cushion KAA offers new possibilities through knotting, pulling or bending. In a game VICO provides not only a chair, table, box or staircase, but can easily become e.g. a kitchen, car, doll's house or treasure chest. KAA can not merely be used as a seat or nursing cushion and features as play object a swing, balancing beam, play area, and many other things.

What is special?

Toys and children's furniture are often designed specifically for this target group. Their use is usually restricted to the children's room, dividing the living space into a world of children and a world of parents. In order to counteract this and enable equal use, VICO and KAA are colour-neutral and, above all, gender-neutral. They break with the archetypal colourful children's world, rather acting as mediators between generations, both in the living room and in the children's room. While the semantics of a toy car will always dictate to use it as a car, VICO and KAA serve as a projection screen for ideas and invite for individual redesign. They should motivate people not to regard things as fixed, but to use them more creatively. Both objects have a dimension that allows them to accompany their owners from an early age and avoid becoming a burden later on.

What is new?

A world of short product cycles made products that last for generations become rare. VICO and KAA are a concept to counteract this trend and to enable a wide range of applications through open-ended design. Used as stair VICO can support children in meeting their parents at eye level. It’s a personal tool for children providing the required piece of furniture in no time at all. KAA playfully connects both generations, since only in the interaction of young and old new uses can be discovered. Without an older player, the object could not become a carousel or a swing.