The Bellamy company, a well-known and respected across the whole Europe producer of children’s furniture has asked us to design a collection for them.
Who knows it best, how a perfect bed, desk or wardrobe for a child should like?
Parents, of course. That is why we approached them first when beginning the works on the new collection. Through numerous interviews, we have gained priceless remarks and suggestions.
What did the parents expect the most? Furniture that is durable and would serve children for as long as possible. But how can parents’ wishes be granted, if their kids grow so fast?
Intensive brainstorms in our office brought us the desired result: a perfect combination of children’s needs, parents’ dreams and our ideas.
The most important feature of the Hoppa collection is that each of the pieces of furniture grows along with the child. As the months go by, the furniture can be modified in such a way, to serve new purposes, adequately to the new needs of the room’s inhabitant.
The bed can be turned into a couch. The ladder at the bed can serve as an organizer or a wall for hanging containers. The sides of the bed will become the top of a desk. The clothes rack in the wardrobe can be lifted and adjusted to the child’s height. In this way, Hoppa becomes furniture both for toddlers and older kids.
The additional shelf for an electric nanny is a solution offered in response to parents’ expectations. First, the shelf is mounted to the bed and then can be used as a wall shelf.
The whole collection features slightly rounded shapes, inspired by Scandinavian style. Northern influence also reveals itself in the pastel colors of the furniture.
The collection is complemented by the bookcase, chest of drawers and wardrobe, all designed by us. All furniture from the Hoppa collection is rounded, thus being safer for a child. It is made of birch plywood and white furniture board. It is vital for a child’s balanced development that it have contact with natural wood and other natural materials from the earliest years.
All the paints used for the finishing of the Hoppa collection have proper approvals, rendering them suitable for kids.
The assumption of the project was to design a walking bag which not stigmatizes mothers or fathers. The bag can be used by both men and women thanks to its neutral look and colors.
During the project, the parents tested the prototypes of the bag. Their comments and ideas were included in the further design.
The main functions of Magsy are capacity, compactness and good quality materials with neat finishing.
The bag was designed for active parents who like to go for walks or trips with their children. Despite the small size of the bag, it is possible to pack many accessories which are necessary to take for a walk or longer trip.
So far every walk or long trip involved picking up several bags. Therefore Magsy’s biggest advantage is its capacity. It is possible to pack even a 15-inch laptop, so the bag will work perfectly for working parents. On the sides of the bag are rubber bands that hold bottles.
Magsy has many useful pockets and compartments. The bag includes a changing mat that is easy to clean. In addition, a separate sachet can be zip up to the bag. It has a special strap, allowing to put it on the arm. Therefore parent can bring the most precious things (phone, wallet, keys) when they leave for a moment from the trolley.
The bag can be held in a hand, worn on the shoulder. It can also pin it to a trolley or clip the straps and use as a backpack. The form of the backpack is a great solution because it allows the parents to take the baby to hands.
The main functions of the bag and its ability to transformation are presented in a stop motion made by Panopticon Films.
Akukuu ordered the design of the furniture by Husarska Design Studio because the ones available on the market did not suit to its tastes and their quality wasn’t satisfying. Our customer did not want to equip the rooms with furniture made of plastic or bought in the supermarkets, but he wanted furniture which would be made of good and natural materials.
The furniture was designed for two different areas. One of them is the birthday area. The rooms can be transformed depending on how many children will be participating in the birthday party. The triangle-shaped tables can be array of squares or rectangles, so it is possible to arrange the space in many ways. For example, in the playroom can be carried out children’s drawing workshops.
We have also designed small stools which are also easy to move and space can be rearranged. However, it is not the stool that dominates the room. The most important piece of furniture is the throne for the birthday boy or girl. The throne is available in three variants. One was designed for girls, the other was for boys, while the third one was universal.
The thrones are suited to the rooms. There are three types of birthday rooms: for girls in the mint-pink color scheme, universal (navy style) in the red tones and navy blue, and the third one in the green and yellow coloring. The UV lamps and the UV finishes which are placed on the wall, change the area to the outer space look. Each of the thrones is illuminated so the children have the impression that the thrones on which they sit are as extraordinary as the moment they celebrate.
There are also modular counters which have one base and a number of items that can be added to suit the various needs of the playroom. It is also possible to change their color. By designing modular furniture space can be changed.
We wanted to create a distinguishable space for children which would not only be a great place to play, but also a place to educate. Therefore we introduced a concept of the ‘planets’ (rooms) and we came up with a character of Henry the Rabbit, who travels between these planets and is a guide for children.
The children can use a room just to have fun or they can use one of multimedia rooms, where they can play educational games. Each of play areas has different functionality and color theme, so it is easy for a child to see in which space he is it right now.
The main function of the playroom is to be a space where birthday parties are organized. For the needs of each room, we have designed modular furniture which helps to adjust the space to the needs of the children’s activities. The key point of each of the three birthday rooms is the throne, which towers over the other furniture and every birthday boy or girl can feel like a king or a queen.
All enclosed spaces have holes in the walls resembling rabbit burrows, or craters. This design was introduced to prevent that a child would feel isolated from other playroom spaces. This is an unusual solution, as commonly playrooms are separated from all other rooms.
Another important area was the space for parents. In this area tables and chairs were designed for parents to have some coffee, or grab a snack and get to know each other. At each table, there are three chairs which encourage a situation in which people get acquainted with each other. The odd number of chairs makes people be more willing to sit down and talk (Edward T. Hall).
We also designed puffs and benches in different areas of the playroom. The puffs are lightweight and easy to carry, so staff can move them into different rooms. Parents can sit down and observe how their children play. The benches are located in places where one might have to sit longer for example while changing shoes in the locker room, or in the multimedia room, where children’s play takes longer.
The changing rooms are also featured with modular lockers that lock up the automatic lock system. They are grouped by color to make it easier to identify the cabinet with a watch. Their size and height have been adjusted to the parents’ height, including shorter women, who are most likely to walk with children to the playroom. (The highest shelf must open by the shortest woman).
One of the difficulties was to reconcile the assembly of electronic locks in changing rooms because it reduced the space inside a cabinet. Each addition of the slab also made the place smaller. That is why we tried to adjust the size of the cabinets so that they were ergonomic, spacious, and fitted with automatic opening systems.
The plywood moldings that we could use in the project had to be suitable for children’s needs. Most of the moldings available on the market were too large, but we managed to design our own mold and produce furniture without sacrificing the ergonomics, or limiting children’s needs.
The branding idea for the Akukuu playroom was to communicate the ideology of smart education of children. That is how we gave birth to the series of play areas symbolised by planets visited by the brand hero – Henry the Rabbit and his friends.
Each of the play areas features measures for stimulation children’s physical, mental, intellectual and musical development.
According to the research, play is vital for a child’s development, especially at the early stages of its life. Through playing, children learn about the world that surround them. That is why it is so important to correctly furnish the play areas of a playroom, supporting children’s development. Play facilitates the synergy of various senses at all the stages of development, especially before the age of 4 and between the age of 4 and 8, when it progresses very rapidly. This group is especially interested in what a playroom has to offer.
Henry the Rabbit is the guide to the particular planets, as he travels with his friends from one to another. In the same way, children jump from one play area to another. Area to area.
Each of the play areas features illustrations on the walls, depicting Henry and his friends in various situations related to playing. For instance, the characters are jumping on a trampoline, sit on a throne or drive go karts. The planets are directly reflected in the subsequent zones of the room.
Bianka and Kazik are Henry’s friends. Each of the characters represents children from a different age group, of different personalities and genders. Such an approach shows us that this is a place for everyone who enjoys great fun, regardless of their age or gender.
We have designed a special set of tableware for children celebrating their birthdays in the playroom. It is part of the birthday package. It consists of cups, plates, napkins, hats and a crown for the birthday person.
We have also designed soft toys which can be bought at the front desk and in the playroom’s gift shop. The branded packagings serve for storing popcorn and coffee, as they are coherent with the graphical identification of the playroom.
When creating the website, the Aliso agency followed the principles consistent with the philosophy behind the playroom. The particular sections on the site are represented by different planets, and the website itself is interactive, featuring animated elements.
The Studio coordinated the creation of the animated promotional video, available at the Akukuu site which has been shown in cinemas throughout Małopolska. An original song was also created for the purposes of the spot. The characters of Henry and his friends are set into motion owing to the 3D animation techniques. The animation has been produced by the Panopticon Films studio.