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South Bank Centre

    Creativity Corner Creative Projects

    qubis haus – coffee table/dolls house

    January 28, 2013

    Ok, so you go to an exhibition like home-london and you know you’ll find most of the usual suspects with new ranges, colours, textures etc. Then, once in a while, you get stopped in your tracks. This is that time!

    I was happily going about my business when i came across qubis. Meet amy whitworth, who is the face behind the award winning contemporary furniture & handmade toys.

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    The pièce de résistance is haus, a solid birch plywood coffee table that transforms into a dolls house. You simply add sliding panels made out of wood and perspex and then go about creating your desired room layout. There is no right or wrong, it’s up to the ‘designer’ whether that’s you or the little people. The table aims to solve the dilemma of having children’s play space in a modern home without having to compromise on style.

    I ask you, isn’t this a great idea, utterly adorable and yet practical?

    Haus comes with the qubis magnetic oak toy furniture, which essentially are a variety of building blocks with embedded magnets. These can be transformed into contemporary furniture with the click of a button. There is no limit to what you can create. Of course, you can also buy some miniature design classics, like the eames chair seen here below. Best places for those are dolls house exhibitions.

    Another bonus, when adding sliding panels, is that it’s been designed with the iPad in mind so children or adults can watch something while playing (as seen here below). Genius or what?

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    Take a look at this video clip.

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    If a coffee table transformed into a dolls house is a step too far, amy is also making these boxes with interiors for little people to play. Alternatively, one can buy wooden dividers and set up an interior on a bookshelf. All it needs is a few items and a bit of imagination!

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    I asked amy a few questions:

    How did you come up with the idea and what triggered it? My 3 year old daughter and I were making a house for her dolls out of cardboard boxes … decorating the walls and interiors how she wanted them. … but i couldn’t stop there!  We both got the most fun out of deciding what the rooms were going to look like – and spent hours creating our house over the following few days … during this time it was out in the living room so she/we kept tinkering with it …. This is what gave me the idea of creating a piece of furniture that can remain in the living room, but also double up as a dolls house or play table for children.  The fact it is always out and in the centre of the room means that it is always played with.

    Making the walls slide into the table – means that kids (or adults) can make the table/dolls house into their own style – either as a dolls house to make rooms – or as an interesting coffee table using the walls to create compartments.

    And so – qubis haus – the dual purpose dolls house coffee table was formed!

    From concept to execution, how long did it take? Eve and i made our first haus in nov 2011, the qubis haus was launched at the southbank centre, london in oct 2012.

    You are new to the market. Is it difficult to get established? I am new to the market, but I was very fortunate to win a competition run by the southbank centre and the observer aimed at launching new designers. I have had a great response to my work and hope that people enjoy it.

    I’m interested in the exchangeable wooden panels. You mentioned you wanted to use various different designs like ella doran, mini moderns etc. yes ..this is an area that I am keen to explore … collaboration is great!

    This has much scope. Any future products in mind? I hope to bring out a range of dual purpose furniture  … but in the mean time I am busy making the haus and working on commissions that I have secured due to the success of the qubis range so far.

    The table comes in 2 different sizes and the size shown below costs just under £600. For a limited period, the table can be bought from the qubis shop, where you’ll also find all of amy’s products, and also from here for £400.

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    Well, i don’t know about you, but i want one. Yes, i’ve always been obsessed with dolls houses and this must be one of the coolest i’ve seen. Who else is now saving up? See you thursday.