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Io Pod Bunk Bed by Mina Panic

Home > Winners > Design #54293 >Interview
Editor Frank Scott (FS) from DesignPRWire has interviewed designer Mina Panic (MP) for A' Design Awards and Competition. You can access the full profile of Mina Panic by clicking here. Access more information about the award winning design IO Pod here.



Interview with Mina Panic at Friday 24th of February 2017

FS: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
MP: Apart from striving to create visually strong pieces which are easy to use and fun to be around and play with, the ability to transform is an important aspect and principle behind the design. If a piece has the ability to change or transform then its longevity can be enhanced. It is very satisfying to have an object that can be used in different ways and that remains functional year after year and can be eventually passed on to future generations.

FS: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
MP: The objective behind the design was to create a multifunctional, long lasting and attractive design that will appeal to both kids and adults and that will enable parents and children to use the product for a long time. The attention was also to create an innovative and versatile design which in addition contains an element of the unexpected. For instance the desk option represents a hidden surprise. In this way we wanted to enable children who will be using the product to not see it just as an object for its obvious function but rather to imagine the possibilities.

FS: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
MP: We would like to make this piece available worldwide.

FS: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
MP: 8 months fromthe initial concept through testing and modifications to final product.

FS: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
MP: IO Bunk Pod was created as a response to a request from my daughter who wanted a bunk bed. Right from the start we wanted to design a piece that would be versatile enough to be used over a long period of time and in a way grow with our daughter. The concept behind the design enables parents to do this - create a permanent object that their children will use, play and enjoy having around throughout their early and teen life and hopefully beyond that too.

FS: Is your design being produced or used by another company, or do you plan to sell or lease the production rights or do you intent to produce your work yourself?
MP: IO Bunk Pod is currently being produced by my company IO Kids Design.

FS: What made you design this particular type of work?
MP: Designing for children always represented an interesting challenge. With children’s products the challenge is a lot to do with how they can stand the test of time in order to get the maximum usage, whilst at the same time be adaptable, functional, fun and are easy to use. The pod was partly inspired by this challenge as much as a personal desire to create interesting piece for my own children.

FS: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
MP: Scandinavian Design with its paired down minimal aesthetic and emphasis on functionality and craftsmansip has always been a key influence for our work.

FS: Who is the target customer for his design?
MP: The target customers for our designs are parents who want individual and unusual pieces for their children which also appeal to their own aesthetic. They are well informed when it comes to trends and design and are keen to buy sustainable and ecological products for their children.

FS: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
MP: The Bunk Pod was conceived with sustainable thinking applied to its design. The multifunctional aspect of the design ensures that the product can be used in many different ways and so reduces the need to replace it. Its ability to transform into different configurations sets it apart from other similar products on the market.

FS: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
MP: My daughter loves stories about the Solar system. IO is part of the solar system and one of Jupiter’s many moons. Because gravitational forces constantly pull it, IO is always unpredictable, surprising and ever changing. It has the most dramatic landscapes, the highest mountain peaks, the deepest rivers and most explosive volcanic eruptions. We thought it would be an apt metaphor for our company and pieces in our collection that strive to always be at the forefront and surprising.

FS: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
MP: The most unique aspect of IO Bunk Pod lies in its versatility and ability to transform. It is an all-in-one space for children to sleep, store and study. It has been conceived with an ease of assembly in mind and can be configured in numerous ways including a bunk bed, two separate single beds, a top bed and desk area beneath as well as a bed and desk separately in order to suit a family’s evolving needs. The engineering behind the concept enables parents to easily convert it whilst providing children with opportunities to enjoy it and treasure it as they grow.

FS: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
MP: I collaborated with my architect husband Carlo Filippo Negri to create this design for our daughter.

FS: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
MP: Initial research was carried out to understand better how particular design can be used and how it can fit into children’s and parents lives. Research into safety regulations and testing was carried out which resulted in close collaboration with FIRA testing facility in London. We wanted our product not only to be versatile and functional but safe too.

FS: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
MP: The objective behind the design was to create a multifunctional, long lasting and attractive design that will appeal to both kids and adults and that will enable parents and children to use the product for a long time. The attention was also to create an innovative and versatile design which in addition contains an element of the unexpected. For instance the desk option represents a hidden surprise. In this way we wanted to enable children who will be using the product to not see it just as an object for its obvious function but rather to imagine the possibilities. The challenge was to combine all these key objectives into a single design that children would grow up with and use through various stages of their young life, yet at the same time ensure that the engineering behind the concept enables easy assembly and conversion for parents.


FS: Thank you for providing us with this opportunity to interview you.

A' Design Award and Competitions grants rights to press members and bloggers to use parts of this interview. This interview is provided as it is; DesignPRWire and A' Design Award and Competitions cannot be held responsible for the answers given by participating designers.

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