Tell us about your background. Why do you design play furniture for children?
We are Arianna and Sara, two young architects passionate about design. We met at Polytechnic of Milan at the Faculty of Architecture. Westarted a productive collaboration that soon became a strong friendship. Architecture is our world and our background. It guides our hands planning buildings as well as objects. The opportunity to take a first step into the world of design was thanks to a context which asked designers to develop a product inspired by the theme of ‘sharing’. We are two aunts too, so we developed YaWood, a reinterpretation of the traditional rocking horse, in Kids Design category, winning the competition.
What was your inspiration for your rocking horse YaWood?
YaWood reinterprets the traditional toy of rocking horse in a completely new and unusual way. The goal was to create an object that could be used individually, but that would be more funny when shared. It is made by a curved wood profile that follows the lines of the body. The design concept is inspired by the mother’s hand as a symbol of protection and kindness. The choice of wood was dictated by the desire to get the child in touch with a natural and sustainable material. YaWood’s main feature is the opportunity to be connected with another one giving children the possibility to interact and share the same game. The connection is possible thanks to a simple slot that allows to join two elements quickly and reversibly according to children needs.
How children respond to your rocking horse YaWood?
It is very exciting for us to see the response of children when they use YaWood. Children have fun because they find it comfortable and intuitive. It is great to see the wonder in their eyes when two YaWoods are combined and they discover the possibility to play together by sharing. The resemblance to a motorcycle stimulates their imagination finding ways to play that we would never have imagined.
We are happy many children will enjoy our rocking horse: YaWood will be on sale in September 2019!
Meaningful design for kids – what does that mean for you?
Meaningful design leaves children free to imagine and experiment. We love toys that allow flexible uses and stimulate children adapting to their imagination and needs.
Through design choices it’is possible to teach to children important topics such as sustainability or respect for nature and the world around us. When we designed YaWood our desire was to create a high quality product that would last over time, contrary to current toy market increasingly affected by disposable toys. YaWood is not simply a toy and it is made to follow the child in his game and in life from birth. It can become a bookcase/shelf, both in the single and double version. It has a double slot in the back, which can be used to insert a rope connected to the front slot, then it can be hang up and become a furniture.
What toys did you play with as a child? Did you have a favorite toy?
As children we loved traditional toys, dolls, buildings blocks and of course the rocking horse! We liked toys that stimulate creativity and free imagination, around which the child can create his own fantastic world. Furthermore, we grew up surrounded by nature and we loved outdoor games with friends and cousins.
When we designed YaWood we got inspired by all these sensations, the joy of sharing, the desire to experiment and the love for nature.
And subsequently: What toy do you think is a completely superfluous?
We think that many of the toys commonly found on the market are superfluous. Children get used to artificial materials, flashy colors and the concept of disposable: The games are used for a short period and then they are forgotten.
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Photos Nicolò Brunelli Ph.