Tripp Trapp®
May 2024

A seat at history’s table

Skip to

Celebrating the Tripp Trapp® at the Centre Pompidou

The iconic Tripp Trapp® chair takes its place at the Centre Pompidou’s 2024 exhibition The Childhood of Design: A Century of Furniture for Children in Paris. As home to Europe's largest collection of modern art and host to 3.5 million visitors annually, the Centre Pompidou is the perfect place to explore the evolution of children’s furniture. With over 150 influential works on show, the exhibition journeys across the twentieth century, unfolding the emergence of children’s furniture as a world of its own and exploring how forward-thinking designers have continuously adapted their work to support the growing child.

Tripp Trapp®, designed by Peter Opsvik, is the chair that revolutionized children's highchairs in the 1970s and transformed Stokke’s design philosophy by merging functionality with aesthetics and ergonomics. It joins the much-celebrated Schaukelwagen by Hans Brockhage, Cheval à bascule by Walter Papst, and Mobilier Child’s Rocker by Gloria Carnica at the exhibition to tell the captivating story of child-centric design.

“As an icon of children’s design, Tripp Trapp has all the attributes that make children’s furniture successful: simplicity and adaptability. With an adjustable seat and foot plate that enables 14 different seating positions, Tripp Trapp is the ultimate family furniture item. At the exhibition, the chair makes the connection between modern wooden furniture and the advent of pop, with its bright colors and dynamic shapes.”

Marie-Ange Brayer, curator with Céline Saraiva.

Head of the Design Department, Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Pompidou

In this article, we’ll look back at the evolution of children’s furniture and map Stokke’s influence on the design world to understand why Tripp Trapp® remains so relevant today.

Bauhaus and beyond

In the early 20th century, the Industrial Revolution sparked a creative burst in children's furniture design. Companies like Thonet in Vienna and Baumann in France started to think big about little ones by making furniture on a large scale especially for children. Instead of just shrinking down adult chairs and tables, they began to create pieces that aimed to cater for children’s need. It was a fresh start, looking at the world of furniture through the eyes of a child.

At around the same time, the Bauhaus began to change the way designers viewed children within family and social spaces. This shift in thinking placed children at the forefront of design, inspiring designers to create furniture that was not only functional but also nurturing for the creative and developmental needs of children.

By the 1960s and 1970s, the concept of play had become a cornerstone of children's furniture design. This era saw a surge in creativity and innovation driven by the development of new materials such as plastics, which allowed for the production of lightweight, durable, and colorful furniture. Designers like Verner Panton and Luigi Colani took advantage of these materials to create playful, flexible, and safe products for children.

Giving children a seat at the table since 1972

By 1972, and after many years crafting furniture for adults, Stokke entered a new era with the launch of its first product for children, the ingenious Tripp Trapp® chair. This chair was based on a revolutionary concept: furniture that grows with the child. Designed by Peter Opsvik, the Tripp Trapp® chair tapped into the influence of play, broke away from the traditional, static children's furniture, and championed flexible, ergonomic design. It gave children a seat at the table and forever changed the future and philosophy of Stokke.

Peter Opsvik’s lightbulb moment occurred when he discovered his two-year-old son, Tor, had grown too big for his highchair. Conventional chairs didn’t allow Tor to sit at the dinner table anymore, and Opsvik set out to change that. His iconic Tripp Trapp® design revolutionized children’s furniture by creating a chair that was the perfect fit for little ones of any age to join the family table and move freely.

By granting them a seat at the table, the Tripp Trapp® has helped raise over 15 million confident children since 1972. When sat comfortably alongside adults, children gain a better sense of belonging and feel empowered to express themselves. Whether they’re making castles out of mashed potatoes or fingerpainting with dad, the Tripp Trapp® provides a supportive space that promotes exploration, independence, creativity, and critical thinking.

Tripp Trapp® remains as relevant and innovative today as it was over 50 years ago. The iconic chair continues to offer a vital sense of belonging and participation to children across the world by inviting them into the heart of family life.

The chair’s recognition at the Centre Pompidou’s “The Childhood of Design: A Century of Furniture for Children" exhibition highlights its lasting impact on design and society. More than just a triumph for Stokke, the Tripp Trapp® has become a symbol of progressive, child-centric design. Its simple, flexible build continues to reflect the needs of growing children and promote inclusivity and adaptability in children’s furniture design.

“The Childhood of Design: A Century of Furniture for Children" exhibition will run from 25 April − 12 August 2024 at Centre Pompidou, Paris. Learn more here: