Friday, 16 July 2010

Design a Fantasy Sofa

The other day, quite out of the blue, a man emailed to ask if I would like to judge a competition! I have never been asked to judge anything before so was curious. Why me? I wondered. The people at sofa.com were at the final judging stage for a competition they had launched for children in  London, to design a fantasy sofa. They sent 4,000 A3 design template drawings to children at local schools and received an amazing 1,000 back. I agreed to go because I've never been a judge before and I actually need a new sofa as ours is eleven years old and so embarrassing that I even wrote about it in my Times column. I wanted to check out the sofa.com sofas as I've only seen them online before.

I went to the newly designed showroom in Lots Road Chelsea. They are situated in a huge kind of groovy loft covering an entire vast top floor. I was given two piles of drawings to go through and a few in 3d.  Wow it was very hard to choose, particularly when you knew that the prizes were ipod nanos for the children and sofas and camcorders for the winning schools.

A couple of the designs were suspiciously too good.  One five year old had done better than I could with glitter and glue, and had far too much help from Mummy or perhaps Daddy. Sadly we vetoed the design even though it was fabulous. We were all impressed by Zaid of Flora Gardens School in the 9 to 11 category. His sofa was covered in a batman design which I could see in my 9 year old son's room. He came second but it was very close because in the end, we decided the winners' sofa  was more of a fantasy. But my favourite was the winner of the 5-8 category. The nature sofa with the last minute insertion of T was upbeat and kind of magical. Well done Anna! If you live in London, look out as they will be running the competition next year.

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