Tink Things Sensory Chairs by Dorja Benussi

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DESIGN DETAILS
DESIGN NAME:
Tink Things

PRIMARY FUNCTION:
Sensory Chairs

INSPIRATION:
Main inspiration for designing this kind of products was the fact our senses basically affect everything else in our minds and bodies. Sensory integration, defined as a neurological process that organizes our own senses and those of the environment, so that we can effectively use our body, is a process directly related to our interaction with surroundings. Since design is the main thing shaping that environment, directing the approach towards meeting the children's sensory needs can have a huge impact. Learning, thinking, creativity and intelligence are not only the processes that take place in the brain. They include our entire body. From the earliest childhood, throughout growing up and adulthood - physical movement is crucial for development, learning and well being. Accompanied with positive emotional environment, movement plays a very important role in creating a nerve cell network that is the fundamental basis of learning. Learning comes directly through interaction with the environment. As we receive sensory stimuli and as we move, our neurons create their new extensions (dendrites), which allow communication between nerve cells. Neuronal groups then create forms of communication which become communication paths. That process of connecting nerve cells and the formation of neuronal communication network is what is called learning and thinking. What we know, feel, learn and think is shaped with how we know, feel, learn and think. This is again dependent on sensory and motor systems that mediate in all our experiences of the world that surrounds us. Those systems shape our experiences and at the same time they are shaped by them, which is why sensory and motor development is of crucial importance for learning. With adults, sensory rich and adjustable environment is great. It can indeed improve the mood, focus and well being. But it is mostly symptoms based, since adult nervous system is, although continually changing, already developed. Kids, on the other hand, are still developing, and the way they cope with sensory stimuli during childhood is not only connected to their day to day experiences and their feelings, but is also of crucial importance to their growth and all future experiences. The moment you realize the long term potency of that impact, making sensory processing a design methodology highlight seems inevitable, especially when designing for kids. Children differ in their ability to process and respond to sensory stimuli within an environment while engaging in activities. One child may have difficulty sitting still during group time, while another may move little during free play outside. They react in different ways because each child integrates the information obtained through their senses from the environment differently. Regardless of the presence of potential difficulties, every kid most likely fits in one or more neurological threshold personalities. They describe so called extreme ways of interacting with the environment, and serve as direct guidelines for Tink Things design. A lot of children generally process their daily sensory experiences and regulate their responses with ease, but will also react badly after spending some amount of time in unresponsive and static environment. When a child is consistently having difficulty maintaining a level emotional state or engaging appropriately in activities, he may be overstimulated or under stimulated. When that happens, and it happens a lot, it means there is a lack of sensory intelligence; good sensory stimuli processing. Knowing that fine motor skills and complex mental processes may well develop only on the basis of a working sensory system, it is something to include in thinking about everything a child interacts with. Sensory rich environment is usually reserved for therapeutic areas only. Common thing for most modern educational spaces and home learning areas is that they do not provide any sensorimotor situation during learning or studying. Encouraging environments do not only provide a dynamics and variety of different sensory experiences, but also offer high adjustability and a place to remove unwanted sensory experiences. Actions by which the child is intuitively seeking them is usually interpreted as bad behavior or indifference but it is actually showing us that environment is not as supportive and friendly as it should be. It could be designed smarter,­ more encouraging, enjoyable & more suitable for all, and Tink Things is striving to do that.

UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
Sensory intelligence is the foundation of a child development. It entails a whole spectrum of processes that serve as building blocks for growth, development and overall learning. Adequate sensory processing is encouraged by sensory rich environments that are more dynamic and fun, but also work as a food for the brain. They help with emotional regulation and aid concentration & memory skills, as real learning always involves patterns of physical activity. Tink Things considers different neurological thresholds while using therapeutic principles to design supportive sensory furniture. It strives to help create a more fun, encouraging and enjoyable surroundings suitable for all children and the wide scope of their sensory needs. Why should sitting have to be boring?

OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
Design is based on usual threshold personalities to fit wide range of sensory needs. With Mia chair, the non fixed fabric seat allows gentle rocking which helps with concentration, and acts calming by providing deep pressure soothing. If feeling overwhelmed, the child can pull up the cocoon and partly isolate itself. Ika chair not only allows movement, but encourages constant rocking and bouncing, which is fun and has a positive influence on learning especially with kids who need a lot of stimulation.

PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
The project started within a Master's degree with a thesis on sensorimotor stimulating educational equipment in collaboration between Faculty of Architecture (School of Design) and Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences in 2015. Prototypes have been exhibited on IMM Cologne and other design shows before and the launch is planned around April 2018 during the exhibition of first series pieces on SaloneSatellite in Milan.

PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
Design is based solely on product functionality and ecology. After thorough research in the field of sensory integration and setting up a whole new design methodology based on children's sensory needs design guidelines ended up pretty specific. Requirements such as non fixed seating directed the shape of all the other chair elements. All pieces are designed to produce minimal waste and to enable flat pack shipping. Solid wood used is FSC certified, shaped by CNC machine and finished by hand, the same as aluminum. OEKO TEX certified 3D mesh fabric used for seating is highly durable, lasting and completely recyclable.

SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
Both chairs come in two sizes: small (1-8 years) and big (6-13 years). Small chair dimensions are 48 x 44 x 43 cm. Big chair dimensions are 48 x 44 x 64 cm. The chairs are tested to European standards and have certificates for strength, durability, safety and stability (EN 12520, EN 1022, EN 1728).

TAGS:
children, sensory, encouraging, furniture

RESEARCH ABSTRACT:
Inclusive approach to design considered different sensory needs through the mechanism of processing stimuli with the use of therapeutic principles of stimulating sensory integration. Initiated by Dorja Benussi, analysis made in collaboration between Faculty of Architecture and Faculty of Education and Rehabilitation Sciences included a field research in two different elementary schools with children aged 6 to 14. Applying the therapeutic principles to form design guidelines required completely customized design methodology.

CHALLENGE:
The first part was diving into sensory integration field, researching and learning to transform behavioral responses through model of sensory processing into the backbone of design. It was around a year and a half of groundwork before the idea of sensory intelligent furniture emerged in its current form. Another two years were prototyping and refining the technical properties while organizing the production cycle and meeting necessary industry certifications in order to make a high quality, but reasonable priced products.

ADDED DATE:
2018-02-28 19:19:24

TEAM MEMBERS (2) :
Dorja Benussi and Ivan Benussi

IMAGE CREDITS:
Image #1: Photographer Ivan Benussi, Image #2: Photographer Nives Miljesic, Image #3: Photographer Nives Miljesic, Image #4: Photographer Nives Miljesic, Image #5: Photographer Nives Miljesic

PATENTS/COPYRIGHTS:
Mia and Ika chair are in a process of registering industrial design.

Visit the following page to learn more: http://www.tinkthings.com
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CLIENT/STUDIO/BRAND DETAILS
NAME:
Benussi&theFish

PROFILE:
Benussi&theFish is a multidisciplinary boutique creative studio that works in the fields of both product design and visual communications and believes in creating meaningful design and experiences. The studio is managed by Dorja Benussi, a product, graphic and digital designer from Zagreb and Ivan Benussi, designer and art director from Belgrade.

NOMINATION DETAILS

Tink Things Sensory Chairs by Dorja Benussi is a Nominee in Baby, Kids' and Children's Products Design Category.

· This project is currently confidential as results have not been announced yet. Images and further details of the project is not available for public yet, please check back later. If you are the owner of this design, please login to view the images.

· The profile and other works by Dorja Benussi is also kept secret. This information will also be available later.
AWARD DETAILS

Tink Things Sensory Chairs by Dorja Benussi is Winner in Baby, Kids' and Children's Products Design Category, 2017 - 2018.



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