Grow.upp is a furniture range for children 0-6 years: a collaboration between education and child developmental research with furniture design. Made in Germany by HABA, and now available in the UK. It’s a coherent whole room system covering all requirements for an early childhood space, from roleplay and investigation, to acoustics and movement.
Even small changes can make a big difference to an existing space, so the grow.upp concept is also designed to combine easily with existing furniture in a room, to create a new look with subtle changes that give the space a completely new feel. To suit the needs of education environments for young children in the contemporary world, the furniture is modular and agile, quickly and easily allowing new configurations to support different activities and groupings.
Research and nature
Closely aligned with biophilic design principles, the natural materials, harmonious colours and organic and irregular forms of the Grow.upp range include wall and ceiling decoration, sound control, colour schemes, partitions, tables and chairs, creating pathways, defining activity spaces to enable and support enquiry and interaction. The aim is to create a world of the classroom oriented towards the natural environment and supporting children’s development in a secure and engaging space.
To think in terms of outcomes and experiences: we want these to be spaces of ‘wellness’, where children feel safe and engage in purposeful, happy play, and where they can also find their own space for imaginative play with their friend, or choose to be quiet and still (or even nap) while taking time out in a cosy retreat space of their own.
The fact that the forms create unusual structures and ways to move throughout the room constantly sets new challenges for children. They are abstract and irregular, but combine together in interesting ways, introducing new sensory and physical experiences, new acoustic, haptic and visual effects.
The design language and the colour scheme are based on the natural world, with a soft coloured landscape and carefully selected and sparingly applied accent colours. The intention is to create a calm and timeless space, safe and secure, and also in a way ‘unfinished’ because it is completed by the children and their play and learning activities in the room.
The HABA brand is synonymous with quality, safety, sustainability and social responsibility, and both concept and furniture design are guided by these principles. As we’ve documented in some detail throughout our website, the HABA range, including the Grow.upp range of furniture, is manufactured in Germany from sustainable forests within 1 hour of the HABA factory and headquarters. Great attention is made to minimise the impact on the environment, both in sourcing these materials, using them with efficiency so that nothing is wasted, and ensuring that one new tree is planted for every tree we use.
The quality of the materials and workmanship ensures that every piece will to last for a long time, minimising the waste caused in the world by furniture with a much shorter life expectancy. The designs are modular and easy to adapt and reconfigure, meaning that the classrooms can be set up in different ways easily: creating new pathways and provocations.
The forms themselves are stimulating and open-ended, encouraging exploration, interactions and firing imagination. The real wood materials create a warm, healthy room climate and ambience directly connected to the natural world around us.