Year with ARC: what we’ve learned about children's furniture
Year ago, design bureau ODESD2 announced the launch of a series of children's furniture, presenting the ARC crib. It became the first object of the new design duet - Svyatoslav and Maria Zbroy. Their daughter Yaroslava was the first to test the capabilities of the new product. About all the nuances of creating children's furniture, successful solutions and new challenges - designers tell in this interview.
The ARC crib appeared at the stage of expecting your daughter. What do you think: if you created this product already being parents, would it be different?
Svyatoslav: We would not change anything. We worked very responsibly. The ARC crib is not only an aesthetic look. It also consists of functional aspects. And they all worked well.
Maria: I guess I’ll change textiles - not the most important part of the crib, but its very significant complement. We worked with such textile parts for the first time and didn’t pay much attention on cleaning of the sides or how to make hide the crib from daylight.
Tell us how you worked on the project: who was responsible for what, were there any disagreements and how did you manage to arrive at the final version of the crib?
Svyatoslav: The ARC crib is our first teamwork with Maria in creating the product. There were no disagreements: together we went all the way from the creation of the company ODESD2 and now we work together. Therefore, we had an understanding of how to achieve the desired result.
We divided our work into two points. Masha was responsible for collecting data, drawing up technical specifications. She studied what already exists in the world of cribs: how things should look, what certificates to comply with. I was responsible for the technical and design aspect: how to implement the product, how the machines should process the wood, how the parts will be mounted together.
Maria: In addition to external data, it was very important to choose materials for the crib. Usually ODESD2 designers work with steel, plywood, but they are not suitable for children's furniture. We paid much attention to analytics: how all this is made by other world and Ukrainian manufacturers. Many, unfortunately, cover cribs in ecologically non-friendly materials. But for us it was a matter of principle.
Have you studied parents' requests for baby cribs or were you guided by your vision?
Maria: Oh sure. In general, everyone wants to use the crib as long as possible and at the same time to save as much as possible. Someone needs a storage system, on the contrary, someone considers it as another dust collector. There were mothers who were interested in the issue of sharing sleep: it was important for them that the crib could be near to an adult.
What solutions do you think are winning?
Svyatoslav: Since now the subject of breastfeeding is given much more attention than before, we looked at the issue of night feedings, worked through the scheme of how it might work. Therefore, the idea with open doors for the convenience of mother and baby worked 100%.
This concept was proposed by Masha. There is a classic idea - the side of the crib goes down, but not to the end. Masha found a very interesting idea of cribs for parents with disabilities who make them in the United States. The crib on the electric mechanism rises up, and the parent in the wheelchair can drop under it. And the door on the magnetic lock works by pressing the remote and opens in different directions. We liked this option, and then I suggested to make a mechanical door opening in our crib.
From unobvious moments - the wheels. Usually, other brands make them small, which is not always convenient. We took the German medical wheels of large diameter - 100 mm, they are designed for active use on different surfaces, have a large silicone layer, they are quiet, do not leave marks, they are easier to roll and move the crib around the apartment (even with a child sleeping inside).
What details will you further improve?
Svyatoslav: We will work on the technological moments only: we will simplify fastening mechanisms, make them a little more universal. We will slightly expand the diameter of the side bottom fastener, so that it can be easier and faster to assemble the crib. We’ll change the fastener element of the walls between each other - apply a different type of screw.
What caused the decision to make the ARC for ages from 0 to 3 years?
Svyatoslav: A person buys a transforming bed - the entire set of parts at once - and assembles it himself. Inside there will be two assembly instructions: up to six months and up to three years.
In fact, ARC is a crib for a child for three years. The small version is up to 6-7 months and has a size of 80 cm*60 cm. In 10 minutes, it is easily increased by mom or dad to 120 cm with the help of three parts. There is a special telescopic system of guides below, all grooves are moved apart, twisted with screws, three sections of walls and a bottom are inserted - and that’s all, now you already have a big bed.
Maria: Indeed, it is rather a large full bed with the bonus. After all, many parents are wondering about buying a cradle for babies.
There is a mattress which comes with a crib. Are there other textile details or additions?
Maria: In the standard package there will be sides of several color options and a small mattress, 80 cm*60 cm in size. Since it must be tough, we made it from coconut coir - it is very dense, natural, well absorbs moisture, the child is not hot and not cold. The mattress is wrapped in a special cotton covering, and there is a cover that does not get wet on top.
A crib appears in the home interior for a short time. Why is it really worth investing in this piece of furniture?
Maria: Many parents try to buy the very best for their child. Something from the "dowry" must be new. It is very important to realize that the crib must be safe and comfortable to use. If we consider ARC from such a point of view, it is really worth investing in. This is not only an attractive piece of furniture from the brand that has already declared itself on the market, but, above all, a product safe for the child.
It is important not to forget that ARC is a multifunctional piece of furniture. It combines both a cradle for a newborn, and a cot for a toddler, and even a playpen. All this orients us to a specific audience of buyers, who is looking for not just a crib, but something more.
You have been using the ARC crib for a year. How did it fit into your family life?
Svyatoslav: We are accustomed to ease of usage. At home, the bed is used constantly, it does not stand still. In the evening we put it near our bed, in the morning we take it to the side. You can close the doors and roll the child around the apartment as in the playpen.
Maria: It was a direct hit. A year has passed, and we did not even have time to try out all the functions of the crib. We thought about using different levels of the bottom, made four height adjustments. And in fact we use only one. But we will definitely test this function in the future, when the daughter will sleep in her bed separately.
Please name three main criteria when choosing children's furniture.
Svyatoslav and Maria: Safety. Environmental friendliness. Duration of use.
Does the bureau plan further development of the “childish” direction?
Svyatoslav: Yes, we plan to present a table and a chair for older children, shelving systems for storing things and toys. Everything is in our style and concept: environmentally friendly and safe.
Interviewed by Yaroslava Kobynets.