Interview with designer Casualplay Design Dept . (C.), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design Casualplay Kudu Baby Stroller.

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Interview with Casualplay Design Dept . at Wednesday 10th of April 2013: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
C. : The kick of KUDU was to manufacture a carbon fiber stroller using a free shape language. This is the only way to acquire some organic shapes, something lack on childcare world. KUDU presents irregular shapes and geometry trying to imitate an African antelope with elegant curdled horns.

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
C. : Maintain an aesthetic coherence and visual harmony was the main purpose in order to preserve a natural environment surrounding our babies. From Casualplay we think that animals and vegetation inspiration are much preferable and beneficial.

DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
C. : We would like to have a full family around daddy Kudu. For that reason we have already developed his little brother Kudu4; an urban style stroller keeping same image, but with 4 wheels. Future plans are family to grow up, increasing complements assortment and some new exciting surprises.

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
C. : This is an exceptional long project, since it was born to be carbon fiber on 2005. After a couple of years searching throw shapes and exploring carbon fiber technology, during 2007 was manufactured first prototypes batch. Due to high production cost, was not able to be introduced on market, but good reaction from customers and childcare surrounding was pushing us to start searching the way to develop this project. Then, 5 years of engineering, in order to adapt construction to aluminum, were finished on 2012 with first mass production.

DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
C. : From Casualplay we are always looking for new concepts and innovation products. So many people have been involved in this project, I+D department, external designers, engineering companies, prototypes manufacturers, etc… but always managing the main concept idea from Casualplay.

DI: 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?
C. : Kudu is already in market almost in all Europe and over the world at countries like Russia, Chile or Israel. Casualplay is always manufacturing its own designs, getting the inputs from consumers and applying as quick as possible on its products.

DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
C. : Kudu is first stroller using an innovative aluminium technology. All the other products on market are manufactured using aluminium extrusion. The main advantage lies in the simple lines, different geometry and the number of sub-assemblies, parts and joints of the pushchair that are kept to a minimum. Therefore, Kudu is very easy to recycle as the chassis only has 3 parts: Handle, front and rear assembly.

DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
C. : Not particularly, but it is true that bicycles shapes are using similar technology from so long. Casualplay has adapted this looking to a new world.

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
C. : All families with newborns babies who cares about aesthetics, and looking for something different.

DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
C. : Kudu is a new concept stroller with very simple and light structure keeping subcomponents to a minimum. It has all the best features, but always maintaining a balance between function and design. We don’t want meaningless products, so prams that can withstand the passing of time, can make a difference.

DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
C. : During first carbon fiber conceptualization phase we were playing with shapes a lot, and we have realized how similar was to a Kudu antelope, impressive beautiful animal from the African Savanna. Rear leg looks so similar, reducing its shape from top to the bottom; curdled horns are twisting as the front leg is; and finally, curious hump is the most characteristic detail. All these issues come full circle figured on graphic logo design.

DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
C. : As this is a very complicated project with a lot of phases, we have used a lot of sketching, image rendering, 3ds, carbon fiber prototyping, manual aluminum welding modeling, etc…

DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
C. : Minimalistic design.

DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
C. : Here you can see how long the list is. Thank you everyone: Design Engineers Antonio Caballero, Toni Parera, David Palau, Pedro Cabral Textil designers Marta Gómez, María Gasull Restyling Josep Muñoz Fiber Carbon Manufacturer Antonio Bayarri Aluminum Manufacturer Jerry Teng Colour&Trim&Pack Meritxell Estradé Graphic Designers Susana Dicenta, Mariona Arimany Rendering Alejandro Carrillo, Series Nemo Video rendering Lluís Dantí Prototyping Pedro Buenavida, Marc A Company Management Quim Jané

DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
C. : Research & Development department has been working really hard to make this project possible. The adaptation from carbon fiber to aluminum production has been a challenge for our R+D department, with happy ending.

DI: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
C. : It was an aesthetic research which has been really liked during shows and fairs. “A firm favourite” everybody said. This is why we have been going on until production.

DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
C. : First and most difficult of all was to adapt fiber carbon to aluminum production technology. But in addition, standards and norms require many concerns about safety and regularity which involve a lot of efforts to maintain shapes and looking.

DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
C. : Competitions are a good way to test your designs, and we were really confident that Kudu had the chance to be on design leading. For that reason we have submitted to Spain, German, UK, Russian and Italy competitions, having good results in almost all of them.

DI: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?
C. : Team is the most important for the project. If everybody works together, final result will be better.