Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Evolutionary Design: Stokke's Sleepi - Part 2

Now what makes the design of the Stokke's Sleepi children's bed so significantly WOW so much so that I am raving about it so much?

Well firstly, the design itself is a possible, well almost perfect actually, model for another way product can be designed to be sustainable. The usual idea of Sustainable Design that is propounded is more geared towards ensuring that the 'birth-to-grave' factors or considerations of a product that is being designed is considered as a afterthought of sorts, meaning that designers are working with the natural eventuality that a product would eventually be outlived by her users...meaning that there is no sort of design 'future-proofing' or evolutionary design functions that are inbuilt into the product/s itself to ensure that the product grows, or 'evolves' with the natural progression of her user/s. So like the clothes that we are wearing, once we outgrew it, we will either throw it away, or hand it down to others that are more able to fit into them, if it is not torn or soiled in the first place! This is even more so when you consider that the Stokke's Sleepi is targeted to young children, an age group of which most of their products do have a very short, or a relatively shorter'buy-to-bin' time cycle! Interesting isn't it.

Another thing that impresses me too is the evolutionary design that the designer/s have so thoughtfully taken into account. As a child grows and his or her physical size and needs grow, the bed itself is also able to 'evolve' accordingly, albeit with some help and additional purchases by the parents. But what I like to impress upon here is that fact that the product life cycle here is able to be extended through this design evolution, rather than taking the eventuality that a product can only be extended for only THAT long!

Here are some snapshots of the bed that I would like to highlight:

The first snapshot on the left reveals the basic function as a bed for very oung children. One would notice the enclosed nature of the bed, as a means to give both the user and the parents peace of mind.

The second picture shows that as a child grows bigger, her needs of being reassured, as well as her parents are still being met by the same product, but this time, with the bedding 'platform' itself being raised to meet the differing (and taller) physical requirements of a growing child!

As a child grows bigger and become more mobile and agile, the bed itself evolves to cater to these demands. Being able to offer a 'gap' between the beds while at the same time, also offering some measure of safety to both parent and child through the subtle use of 'lower-looking' rails at the sides. The gap offers and meets the expectations of a growing child by offering her a quicker way of accessing and recessing from the bed freely too.

The last picture shows that as the child grows even older, her needs are still constantly being meet through some minor physical changes to the bed! Don't you think its cool, and so (R)evolutionary!?

So what happens when the child have outgrown the bed itself! What do you think would happen to the bed? Now this is where the final surprise kicks in! The parent can actually separate the bed into two separated partitions to form 2, yes, 2 chairs that the child can still use! I don't have the pictures here, but let me reassure you that it is possible!

Now that is what I call a Design (R)Evolution!

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