Manuel, can you tell us, why you designed the playful furniture “Joyn”?
Sure. First of all, it was a group project from my university. The main goal was to design a piece of furniture for different purposes as we picked papers with each purpose, like a kind of lottery. We picked the paper that reads “playful furniture for kids”. We started research on the matter and encounter this typical pieces of foam covered with plastic upholstery in a range of shapes and colors.
Then I thought we could give a spin to that idea, having stackable pieces that interlock with each other and so we started sketching and then came up with this idea of having abstract shapes. I think we wanted to have fun while designing and we let our inner child rise. I think that’s why we ended up with abstract shapes instead of regular ones.
Probably unconsciously we thought those shapes would awake more complex thoughts in children because they of course are stackable and you can build for instance a castle with them but it can be tricky sometimes because they are not this regular shapes that can be easily put one above the other.
They have to think and I guess that was the main inner goal for us: make them think and treat them like actual people that can elaborate complex ideas.
Have children been able to play with “Joyn”? If so, how did they react?
Unfortunately no. There’s still some things we need to figure out for it to be fully enjoyable by the little ones. Every photo that you see is a render image, very realistic but not real indeed.
Is there something else you want to tell us about “Joyn”?
At first you know, probably we didn’t think it will have any kind of impact. We were just doing an assignment for university and those days were our first days “designing”. I’m very glad that it made it that far.
Tell us something about you Manuel and your career. Where and what did you studied and what was particulary formative for you?
I studied Industrial design and product development engineering at the University of Cádiz, Spain. Currently I’m a graphic and industrial designer who works in little of project of my own. Due to lack of fundings I started learning 3D design in blender and I think it has change for good the way I show my creations. It is free, it is fast and it has results I never thought possible in a home computer. With that said, I would like to build some of my designs for real. In the meantime I’m really interested in traditional materials like wood or ceramics and I’m eager to learn how to work with them.
Manuel Velásquez Arauzo
Credit for my partners at the group project:
Samuel Núñez, Pablo Medina, Mario Cherbuy.
Credit for the photos:
JOYN photos rendered in blender + Víctor Velázquez
Get in touch with Manuel Velásquez Arauzo via e-mail: