Life is full of symbols, allegories and codes. Luckily, artists and designers are great receptors and readers of codes. They love to highlight less visible links between objects, ideas and stories in life while showing unusual realities. Kohdai Iwamoto and Ryosuke Akagi from Japanese collaboration, Design Soil was caught by the idea of growth and development, a period between a beginning and an end point. Their latest “Epilogue – prologue” project was partly inspired by children and parents, the representation of these two points. Kids are growing up so fast, just like plants in fertile souls. The designers asked themselves the questions: is it possible to create some simple but lasting furniture that can keep up with this natural growth? At the same time can we capture the evolution?

Kohdai Iwamoto’s answer is just brilliant. The designer came up with ‘steps’ bench that is uniquely created for parent and child. This versatile furniture piece can be used for many years by changing the method how it is used, following the growth of the child. It can become a table for the kid, once the stool part is put the under the hole of seat. And over time, as the child grows a little bigger the bench functionality will be favored. Kid and parent may eventually sit next to each other at the same level by fitting the stool back into the round hole.

Another member of the design collaboration, Ryosuke Akagi dreamt up another furniture piece, more precisely a coat rack named ‘growth’. As the name suggests,  this great piece watches how our children grow. Just like a height scale, a young family can measure one’s height with a movable hook and hang clothes at suitable positions. Thus, this coat rack and the distance between the hooks reflect the structure and age of the family. As the kid is growing older, his coat will move to higher and higher position and the height gap with his parents diminishes.

Design Soil is a Japanese design project initiative of professors and students, from the product design department at Kobe Design University. All the project members have keen designer eyes and they aim at exploring various experimental themes in the design educational context of today.