UNICEF Innovation Labs are collaborative incubation accelerators that bring business, universities, governments and civil society together to create sustainable solutions to the most pressing challenges facing children and youth. Through this program, the lab approached our team to design a prototype for classroom furniture that could be installed in UNICEF-sponsored schools throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. We were charged with creating classroom furniture that was at once universal enough to address the needs of a wide-range of schools, while also taking into consideration the many varying climates, politics, access to resources, local materials and cultures affecting each of these many communities. The furniture was to be 1) sustainable, 2) easily re-producible using local tradesman and materials, 3) durable enough to withstand extreme weather conditions, use for many years, and in some cases during political strife, 4) delightful, fun and comfortable for students of all ages and sizes, and above all, 5) innovative. We designed a methodology that researched existing classroom furniture throughout the world and focused on surveying school furniture use in Rwanda and Malawi. The collaborative design process involved engaging educators, fabricators and children in Rwanda and Malawi as well as UNICEF teams in New York and Copenhagen to develop highly informed design solutions. The locally fabricated, child-friendly furniture has the potential to impact thousands of children in UNICEF-sponsored schools. The final prototypes are playful, promote classroom flexibility and provide the comfort that helps children focus on learning. The resulting process was not only a design exercise, but a fascinating study of how to bring greater dignity to students in some of the most challenging learning environments in the world. It also provides cottage industry opportunities for small fabrication businesses in Sub-Saharan Africa.