Starter Chair

An Exhibition of Children's Chairs

May 14-22, 2022

Nalata Nalata is pleased to present Starter Chair, an exhibition of chairs lovingly made to stimulate and inspire the youngest members of our society—children. Each handmade chair highlights the skill and design of artisans from Japan and the United States, while focusing on the qualities that make a child’s first chair universally cherished as keepsakes into adulthood.

Opening reception will be held on Saturday, May 14th from 1:00pm – 7:00pm.
Everyone is welcome. No RSVP needed.
Iced tea and cookies provided by Kettl.
The exhibition will run until May 22nd (closed Monday and Tuesday).


Starter Chair celebrates the moment when children begin to hold their own bodies up, develop a sense of individuality, and recognize their physical independence as they learn to navigate the world around them. Featuring pieces from renowned Japanese studios and craftspeople—including Makoto Koizumi, Ryuji Mitani and Tendo Mokko—alongside original commissions by local designers and artisans such as Pat Kim and Brian Persico, we brought together a collection of handcrafted chairs designed with a toddler’s size and behavior in mind. Common features, such as soft, rounded edges and timeless materials, can be found in each iteration, and their miniature proportions will enchant kids and parents alike.

Within this collection, we proudly present a children’s chair designed in-house at Nalata Nalata. Drawing on our backgrounds in design and memories from our own childhood, we crafted a chair inspired by the piano benches that held not only sheet music from our lessons but also our most cherished treasures for safe-keeping. This wooden chair features a hinged seat that lifts up to provide storage. Perfectly sized for coloring books, crayons, and maybe a small stuffed animal or two, the storage compartment offers a child the chance to claim some personal space of their own. As we set to debut this seat at Starter Chair, we look forward to seeing how kids will interact with our design in person.

Originally planned for NYCxDesign 2020, the delays and suspensions we experienced putting together Starter Chair made us acutely aware of the pandemic’s global interruption of childhood experiences. To help build a sense of community for the youngest people affected by the pandemic, we will select a number of children born in 2020-2022 and give them each a chair personalized with an engraving of their name and birthdate at the end of the exhibition. By connecting these kids over a shared experience of the exhibition, we hope that these chairs serve as a symbol of growing up in a warm and generous environment despite being born in uncertain times.

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