This year Otago Furniture gave a group of our Product Design students free rein to develop an innovative item of furniture. Emily MacKenzie was inspired to create something special for young children, that would become a much-loved family heirloom.
The project gave Emily the opportunity to develop an idea from concept to full design and then prototype construction in our EPICentre workshop. A critical issue was user safety. Her first prototype, tested by a small child, revealed that further work was required to improve the ergonomics. The second was an attempt at a modified design that could be shipped via flat pack, but the aesthetics and safety quality were compromised in the process.
The third and final prototype of her versatile kids' 'Rockertot' is shown in position as a rocking horse, with a webbing seat, back rest, hand hold and footrest for the young user. Turned upside down the footrest becomes a desk, and when the product is stood on end the footrest is also a chalkboard. Emily is looking forward to seeing her nephew enjoy her creation.