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As technology has made life simpler for young families, it has also created more distractions; mothers and fathers often find themselves rushing through life. Parents tend to be very active, even with brand new babies, and hurry to try to regain the lifestyle patterns that they enjoyed prior to the birth. Babies require quiet time to bond with their caregivers. An eye-opening recent study by the Children’s Ombudsman showed that more than 30% of young children in Sweden had not been given bonding opportunities. It has been proven that this omission can lead to mental illness later in life.

The lowest accident rates in the world for children are found in Sweden, where the family and society work together to provide a safe and secure environment. Technical and functional safety have been a focal point for a long time. Sweden has been in the pole position, driving international development, while creating playful and creative products specifically designed for children and families.

Parents need to take time to just lie on the sofa with their babies and coo and gurgle and giggle. They can mimic and mirror each other and just interact physically. “Who’s the mommy?” “Hello, my child.” Zero to One is an installation that will enforce the simple meeting between small children and their adults. In this “under-stimulation” room, the only thing to do is be together, use the senses to explore each other – one adult and one child – wind down, relax, leave time behind and just work on building a relationship. As they leave the room, parents have an opportunity to write down their thoughts in a letter which the child is to open in ten years. They can share their thoughts about the baby's life so far, what it’s like to be a parent, how much they learned from their time in the room alone with the child, or anything else they want to share with their child. Enjoy this small portion (in Stockholm it covered 437.4 square yards) of the cloth-wrapped room brought to Washington to provide you and your baby with a feeling of peace. Concept: Katti Hoflin Producer: Helena Gomér Designers: Magdalena Åberg and Ebba Theorell

Creating fun, safe products for children is a challenge. Children don’t always play with toys as they were intended. Swedish designers, striving to comprehend what children need, have come up with a highly competitive edge by observing the everyday lives of children, by watching their spontaneous play and interaction. The result has been design successes in widespread areas such as life jackets, helmets, baby carriers, baby buggies, car seats as well as furniture and toys. This exhibition features fifty design products for children produced by thirty small and large Swedish companies. Durability, creativity, playfulness and safety have all been taken into account. All the products can withstand wear and tear. The unisex clothing can be passed down from child to child. Nothing should ever stand in the way of children’s play. Astrid Lindgren summed up the ideal child’s life: “We played and played and played, so it’s odd that we didn’t play ourselves to death.” Swedish design ensures that children can play and discover the world in a safe and encouraging way.

Project Manager: Sylvia Augustinsson Curator and Exhibition Designer: Margarita Bergfeldt Matiz More information:

Mama Clothes Hook Jonas Bergfeldt Essem Design AB

Kalikå Worm Rattle Anne Zapel, Lisa Laster and Åke Cedrholm Kalikå AB

Five Ants Illustrations Owe Gustafson Swedish Television SVT Kånken Mini Backpack Åke Nordin Fjällräven

Ruff Play Sculpture Annika Oskarsson Thomas Nordström Oskarsson Nordström AB

Big Dream Play Mat Kasper Medin and Ulrika E. Engberg Little Red Stuga AB

Snupi Folding Stool Hans Ehrich | A&E Design Lectus Produktion AB

Rex Bicycle Seat Carl-Arne Breger Rex Industri AB

Child's Felt Slipper Pia Wallén Pia Wallén AB

Deltasand Modelling Compound Jonas Modell and Staffan Thuresson Delta of Sweden AB

Come and Draw Table Tian Tang Tian Tang Design

My Animo Recycled PET Furniture Matilda Nordgard and Patrik Nilsson Argue Design

Vagga Cradle Stina Sandwall Sandwall Design AB

Brio Go Buggy Ergonomidesign Brio AB

Baltic Bambi Life Jacket Per Frode and Per-Arne Jönsson Baltic Safety Products AB

Vasaparken, a Stockholm city park Grontmij Landscape Architects Grontmij AB

BabyBjörn Synergy Baby Carrier Ergonomidesign BabyBjörn AB

PXL Lamp Fredrik Mattson Zero Bau-Bau-Blocks Soft Building Blocks Erik Torstensson, Oscar Ternbom and Petter Danielsson Creatables

Ride On Toy BRIO® Inhouse Design Brio AB

Slumber Toddler Sleeping Bag Haglöfs Design Team Haglöfs Scandinavia AB

Boob Nursing Attire Mia Seipel Boob Design AB

Genotropin Pen Injection Device Ergonomidesign Pfizer Rocking Rabbit Björn Dahlström Playsam AB

POCito Ski Gear Jan Woxing POC Sweden AB

Kaspar Wallpaper Charlotta Sandberg Sandberg Tyg & Tapet AB

Rail & Road Travel Set BRIO® Inhouse Design BRIO AB

UltraSilencer Vacuum Cleaner Pia Wallén Electrolux AB BabyBjörn Soft Bib, Plate and Spoon Ergonomidesign BabyBjörn AB

Brio Sit High Chair Fredrik Mattson Brio AB

Småbrokiga Lamp Anna Hörling and Stina Wirsén Brokiga & Company AB

IKEA PS Lömsk Swivel Chair Monika Mulder IKEA

Layer 3 Outwear Polarn O. Pyret Polarn O. Pyret AB

Pick Up Furniture Alfredo Häberli Offecct AB

Snö Rubber Boots Glenn Ekstrand Tretorn Sweden AB

Parapu Paper Composite Chair Claesson Koivisto Rune Södra

Peltor Kid Ear Muffs 3M Sweden Design Team 3M Svenska AB

Child´s Oilcloth Apron Ingela Håkansson 10-Gruppen

SitSac Booster Cushion and Backpack Maria Munther Minno AB

3D Puzzle Furniture Elin Basander Lundin Basander Lundin Design

Sense Lightswing Alexander Lervik Saas Instruments Ltd

Argue Design BabyBjörn AB Baltic Safety Products AB Basander Lundin Design AB Boob Design AB Brio AB Brokiga & Company AB Creatables Delta of Sweden AB Electrolux Essem Design AB Fjällräven Grontmij AB Haglöfs Scandinavia AB IKEA Kalikå AB Kulturhuset Lectus Produktion AB Little Red Stuga AB Minno AB Offect AB Oskarson Nordström HB Owe Gustafson Pfizer Pia Wallén AB Playsam i Kalmar AB POC Sweden AB Polarn O. Pyret AB Rex Industri AB Saas Instruments Ltd Sandberg Tyg & Tapet AB Sandwall Design AB Södra Tian Tang Design Tretorn Sweden AB Zero 3M Svenska AB/Peltor Ten Swedish Designers AB

Zero to One & Swedish Seeds  

February 24 - April 24 2011,Embassy of Sweden in House of Sweden, Washington, DC

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