Editor’s Note: The successful first winter edition of NY NOW ended today! Today’s blog will share details about award-winning products from the winter Market, and over the next few weeks we’ll share reports from some our favorite bloggers.
What’s Your Design Inspiration? Form + Function Create Joyful Product Designs by Hetal Jariwala of flip & tumble
Eva and I met at Stanford’s PD (Product Design) grad program. It’s a pretty neat hands-on place focused on building things that can actually solve real world problems. While there we learned that we both shared a common desire to push for strong function that integrates with how people live. Founding flip & tumble after we graduated was a perfect way for us to channel our passion and bring everyday, joyful products to market.
We believe inspiration can strike just about anywhere. Sometimes it’s in the shower, on a hike, or even in the most unexpected of places, the IKEA checkout line. It was there that we noticed a disconnect that formed the basis for our first product, the 24-7 bag. We saw lots of people buying those inexpensive blue bags at IKEA, but not a soul actually bringing one of those reusable bags back to IKEA with them. We quickly realized a need that could be solved with a better solution. In our case, it was a compactable, squishy, ball to bag solution that could live in a purse or pocket and never be forgotten.
Sometimes the inspiration for a product comes from dissatisfaction or a belief that there has to be a better way. This was the case for our newly released hooknooks. I loved the function of hooks. Most homes had a shortage of storage spaces, but plenty of empty wall space, and the wall felt like a perfect canvas for organizing. When looking at the available hooks on the market though, the aesthetics felt dated, and there was plenty of stuff that couldn’t be placed on a hook. By rethinking the form and scale of the traditional hook, we were able to retain the regular function, while integrating a “nook” which allowed for storing items. It turned out to be a particularly good solution for the entryway where most households have phones, purses, keys, and jackets that need to stay tidy.
Sometimes inspiration doesn’t always come from exploring problems. Sometimes it’s about exploring a topic of interest. For Eva, exploring play for adults was always a topic of interest. Over and over, she noticed that by making small changes to the routine ways that adults go about their day to day helped to encourage a sense of playfulness. She thought about the many routine tasks that adults undertook each day, everything from putting on shoes to opening doors. Honing in a specific mealtime one, the common act of seasoning food, she challenged the notion of the simple salt and pepper shaker. Introducing a simple squeeze action instead of shaking provided a small way to break up the monotony of a routine task, and a sure way to elicit a smile from the user.
ABOUT: Flip & Tumble was founded by Hetal Jariwala and Eva Bauer, designers who met while attending Stanford’s graduate Product Design program. Both were trying to make the switch to reusable shopping bags, and felt strongly that consumers needed the perfect one bag (compact, attractive and convenient) to facilitate the process. Flip and Tumble exhibits in Baby & Child at NYIGF. www.flipandtumble.com