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Child Studio is a London-based design collective working on the intersection of object project, spatial projects, art direction and photography, creating cinematic and intriguing narratives and experiences.

Formica Cafe
in London

‘Child Studio creates an iconic pink Formica cafe for London King’s Road.’

The new cafe recently opened on King’s Road, the neighbourhood synonymous with British fashion, music and pop culture movements of the 20th Century from mods and hippies to punks and New Romantics. 

The inspiration for the design came from the staple of British vernacular postwar architecture - the ‘Formica caffs’, which first appeared in London’s West End in the 1950s, several of them have survived intact to this day. Mostly established by Italian immigrant families, the coffee bars served simple snacks and drinks in a pared-back modernist setting featuring laminate surfaces, pastel colours and cosy seating nooks and crannies. This was the beginning of the ‘cafe culture’ in London with King’s Road at the epicentre, attracting writers, musicians, photographers and bohemian characters of all styles.

The interior is clad in wall-to-wall pink Formica which continues along counter fronts and across tables tops. The rhythmic pattern is highlighted with cherry wood framing each laminate panel. The designers worked with Formica factory to recreate the original ‘linen’ pattern design popular in the 1970s, opting for a suitably ‘Millennial pink’ shade. Other subtle nods to the past include mosaic tiled flooring, cherry wood shelving and neon signage. The cafe is accessorised with the classic mid-century lighting pieces by European designers Poul Henningsen, Jacques Biny and Luigi Massoni.

The cafe sits behind a period timber shopfront. The facade was stripped back from the later additions to reveal the original features, including the ornate cast iron grilles. The long and narrow floor plan informed the layout with a long banquette seat flanking one side and a 5,5 metre display counter located along the opposite wall. An Illuminated cherry-clad lightbox frames the ‘open kitchen’ counter towards the rear of the space, creating a cinematic focal point whilst offering a glimpse behind the scenes and celebrating the food making process focused on plant-based ingredients.


Heavy Hitters

Wallpaper* Cover July 2018



Child Studio presents an installation at Viaduct London
during London Design Festival 2017

In the words of Viaduct’s Director James Mair, “We are exploring the benefits of that single piece of furniture or lighting that can make a space sing.”

The show features work by a diverse group of designers and brands, bound together by a common thread. Whether they embrace modern materials and techniques, or seek to connect us with the past; our participants draw influence from art, the natural world or everyday life, creating objects that aim to nudge behaviours and drive emotion.

Child Studio designs a installation evolving around their collection of sculptural lightings , and a series of aluminium mirror objects that play with the illusion of movement, exploring the perception of reality and fantasy.

Read more about the designers’ interview here.


ELLE Decoration

‘For a company that's not yet a year old, Child Studio is off to a flying start. We sit down with founders Chieh Huang and Alexey Kostikov to discuss their sculptural debut collection and future designs.’

_ Amy Moorea Wong, features editor at Elle Decoration UK
   December 2017 Issue
How did Child Studio come about?
We met when we were both new to London and were working for various studios, designing interiors, furniture, objects and installations. We eventually started collaborating on small self-initiated projects at the start of 2017.

Explain your design ethos?
To do something on the edge of design and art. That's how the name Child Studio came about - the idea of looking at the world with new eyes, being brave, naive and free.

Why did you choose to create a lighting collection?
We wanted to explore the effect of light and shadow and were inspired by Italian surrealist painter Giorgio de Chirico. The collection's title, 'In the Shadow of a Man' (above, from £1900, Viaduct;, comes from one of his quotes. We were drawn to the graphic qualities of De Chirico's work - the way perspective can be altered and twisted to create a sense of movement and suspense. Our aim was to evoke the enigmatic and dreamlike atmosphere of those paintings.

What's next for Child Studio?
We want to explore different disciplines - we've just started working on a collection of accessories, which will include ceramics and mirrors.



4 - 8 April, 2017

   Ditta Angelo Radaelli

  via Manzoni 16 - Milan

Child Studio presents a series of lighting objects, exploring the perception of reality and fantasy. 
The playful and surreal collection will be displayed in a historical flower shop ‘Ditta Angelo Radaelli’ in Brera district during Milan Design Week.  

The studio’s debut collection consists of sculptural lighting objects that play with the illusion of movement, exploring the perception of reality and fantasy. A series of glowing glass spheres appear to be sliding and rolling down the slanted geometric plinths, captured at a point of subtle balance, as if frozen in time. The precarious shapes were designed to create an assuming movement and optical illusion, building a sense of anticipation and suspense. When viewed from different angles, the object's shapes appear to change creating beyond-real three-dimensional effects.
The collection’s title 'In the Shadow of a Man' refers to a quote attributed to the Italian surrealist painter Giorgio De Chirico: 'There is much more mystery in the shadow of a man walking on a sunny day, than in all religions in the world.'

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