Paard – rocking horse for children by Niklas Bonnevier


Tell us about your background.  How did you become a designer?

When I left my employer Ericsson AB I decided to see if design was something for me. I did not really understand what ”design” was. After two years of preparative studies I was close to being satisfied and wanted to start my own company. But luckily I decided to study on and examined as Bachelor of Fine Arts from Linneaus University in Sweden. During the last year of studies I started my own company and focused on furniture design. I have always liked sitting by myself creating and changing my Lego toys. I believe Lego made me a designer!

What was your inspiration for your De Paard – your rocking horse for children?

It started as a school project where we were supposed to make an hommage to the Gerrit Rietveld chair “Red and Blue chair” (1918). I made something that could be interpreted as a rocking horse … After the studies I did a remake and made the rocking horse a commercial product.

Why children need your rocking horses De Paard?

I can not really say that children need my products, but I know that their parents do! And that is because we as consumers need to stop purchasing everything that is produced and focus on fewer and more environmentally friendly products. We need to buy products that last and does not become trash after some years of usage. I would like to say that my products give the buyer a clean conscience.

Are there other furniture that you produce specifically for children?

No. At the moment I have paused my design since making money out of it is too complicated. It takes too much energy and time trying to figure out how to reach the customers.

Meaningful design for kids – what does that mean for you?

I like products that give something more than just the main purpose. For instance my table with a container for crayons or toys. “Suitable design for kids” is quite a broad area. For instance there is a higher level of security thinking, you can not take for granted that a child understands the product so you really need to think things over a couple of times. Other than that I like products that develop yourself. As I said earlier; If I had not had Lego when I was a child I have a hard time believing I would have become a designer.

A few personal questions at the end: What toys did you play with as a child? Did you have a favorite toy?

Lego was the favourite. First I built according to the instruction and played for a while. Later I would make my own redesign and turn a fork lift into a beach buggy, so much fun!

And I remember I really liked Brios’ Tax: It is so cute!

And subsequently: What toy do you think is a completely superfluous?

There is too much plastic crap out there, that is for sure. Then again there are plastic products like Lego that have an existence justification, so plastic is not all bad.

Makes me wonder why kids use those hoverboards though. A product that make them move as little as possible. That must be the worst so far.


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