Annika Marie Buchberger developed the children’s furniture series “Ausgewachsen” (grown out) in the context of her final project for her course of studies. With this idea, the young designer from Cuxhaven was able to prevail against around 250 other creative designs and has now produced “Ausgewachsen” in series within the framework of a product sponsorship with the children’s furniture manufacturer Jörg de Breuyn. In an interview with Kind + Jugend, she tells what has happened since then.
In 2015 you won the Kids Design Award with your furniture series “Ausgewachsen”. What was special about these products? What distinguishes them?
What is special about “Ausgewachsen” is its ability to transform. The items of furniture can be used in a variety of ways and grow with their users. Despite the small number of parts, clever combination results in ever new arrangements. The simple design makes them timeless. We use them ourselves as furniture in our living room without anyone thinking we are using children’s furniture.
You were able to enter into a product sponsorship with the experienced children’s furniture manufacturer Jörg de Breuyn. What were the advantages of this?
For me, the clear benefit was and is that Jörg de Breuyn has the necessary know-how. This in reference to both the optimisation of the products from a technical perspective, as well as to the marketing, product calculation and advertising. Without this sponsorship it wouldn’t have been possible for me to ever produce the furniture in series. That’s because one needs much more than an idea and a prototype for this.
What has changed for you since you won the award? Have you been able to successfully position your series on the market?
Fortunately, very little about the furniture itself has changed. The design and the material are almost identical with my prototypes. Since the presentation of the finished product series at Kind + Jugend 2016, you can order the furniture through the online shop of de Breuyn and view it in the showroom in Cologne. It is difficult to make the principle of the furniture understandable for customers at first glance. For this reason, we have shot a short film together with a Berlin director that explains the functionality of the furniture for the customer.
Do you have any other product ideas that could also be of interest for the next Kind + Jugend?
For the time being there are no further ideas in this direction. First we are waiting to see how the products position themselves on the market before we make new plans. Not that I have a problem with new plans. Maybe something will come spontaneously.