Title: Children's table chair and stool
Text: Children's table, chair and stool: Perspective Design's Those Things
Made by Perspective Designs Limited, Fulham, London. Designed by Peter Murdoch, DesRCA.
The furniture is orange, navy, pink, turquoise, black, or white and is supplied flat ready for easy assembly. Its packaging, right, was designed by Paul Clark, whose brief was that it should attract immediate attention in a store and reflect the quality and originality of the furniture.
Paul Clark, whose brief was that it should attract immediate attention in a store and reflect the quality and originality of the furniture.
The concept of inexpensive fibreboard furniture with a limited life is beginning to be accepted in Britain, and if American experience is anything to go by its popularity will grow rapidly. The Those Things range illustrates well the advantages which this kind of furniture can have: it is supplied packed flat in a folder which needs little storage space and can be carried home by the customer or sent cheaply through the post; the furniture is light enough to be easily moved by children and is unlikely to damage anything or anybody if knocked over or thrown around; and it is cheap enough to make replacement possible when children want a new design or simply grow out of it.
The Those things range is a development of an original design by Peter Murdoch when he was still a student at the Royal College of Art and which was manufactured in small quantities in the United States. Early in 1967 Perspective Designs realised that there was great potential for furniture if redesigned for easy marketing. Peter Murdoch was therefore commissioned to design a new range for production in Britain. New Merton Board Mills - who manufacture the furniture for Perspective Designs played a vital part by producing prototypes in three weeks, thus enabling Those Things to be launched ahead of any rivals. In the first six months some 76,000 pieces were sold, 80 per cent going overseas.
Perspective Designs Ltd was set up in 1966 by Philip Bidwell to market the work of young British designers. Already its products include a wide range of highly original clocks, decorated mugs, gifts, kitchen accessories, stationery, as well as fibreboard furniture. Mr Bidwell says "We try to avoid gimmicks which use novelty for novelty's sake rather than for producing an object that is an improvement on its predecessors. We decided to produce fibreboard furniture not only because it has particular advantages for the customer, but also because low development costs made it possible to launch the new range in small quantities to test the market." Perspective Designs concentrates on selling abroad, believing that the market for innovation in Britain is still limited by a lack of adventurous spirit.
Approximate prices: table 19s 11d; chair 19s 11d; stool 17s 11d.