Save a bunch of cash, effort and the planet with products that can adapt over time.
Read time: 2 minutes
One of my favourite things is when my friends spot examples of inclusive design and send me a link. It’s always nice to know people are interested in what you’re doing (rather than boring them silly…), but it’s especially nice to hear that people are actually making practical changes and thinking longer term when it comes to purchases for their own homes and family.
Today it was a link to a chair. My friend’s kid is coming up to turning one and so it’s time to get the little dude a high chair so he can have a seat at the big people’s table.
Kids are expensive. As soon as you buy them one thing, they somewhat annoyingly go and grow out of it. It seems like such a waste of time, money and effort to keep doing this, not to mention draining the planet’s finite resources. High chairs and baby seats are a classic example of this, where you might need four or five different styles of chair as you grow up.
That’s why I was really interested when my friend sent me this new design called LEMO, which claims to be a 4-in-1 seating solution from birth up to 99 years. According to their website there are various attachments for kids of all ages and an intuitive and smooth one-hand adjustment system which allows you to easily switch the height and depth of your LEMO Chair from baby to adult within seconds.
It looks pretty cool too.
I am loving this new trend of thinking about products that can adapt with us as we ourselves change. Tots to teens beds have been about for a while.
As has the TrippTrapp chair by Stokke which works in a similar way to the LEMO chair.
But now there are even clothes and shoes. I love these incredibly clever pleated clothes that grow with the child from 4 to 36 months by PetitPli.
My favourite is this growing table and bench by PurePosition which works using a kind of stackable legs to ‘grow’ the table as your kid does.
It’s really refreshing to see designers start to latch onto this concept and to see the improvements in design that result from making products more adaptable and reflective of real life rather than unchanging one-time use things that we have to adapt ourselves in order to use.
But more needs to be done. Take the LEMO chair. You’ll note that the last person sitting in the chair is aged about 30 even though they suggest it is suitable for people up to 99.
I showed this chair to the older people I work with and while they loved the concept, we did have a bit of a laugh too. The folks I work with are really active, and LEMO could definitely work for a few of them, but the majority of them felt the narrow seat without arms would be pretty problematic; most saying they wouldn’t feel safe using it and would probably avoid sitting in it for fear they might slip off or not be able to get back up.
I would love to see as much work put into the attachments for the older end of the spectrum as they have for the younger end. How about some arms, or an even deeper seat? It’s obviously a very adaptable design, so you can have that idea for free, LEMO. ?
It’s a great start though, and well done to LEMO for winning the rather prestigious Red Dot Design Award this year and for getting more people talking about inclusive design.
And thanks of course to my friend for sharing. I’m really looking forward to hearing how her family get on with their amazing growing chair over the next few years.
If you’ve seen any other adaptable products that can change with us which you think I should feature, drop me a line anytime. I love to hear from you!