Interview with designer Petur Hannes Olafsson (PO), regarding views on design, and for the award-winning design Buddyphones Kids Headphones.

 
 
 
 
For High-Resolution Images & More Info Visit: http://www.adesignaward.com/design.php?ID=46355

Interview with Petur Hannes Olafsson at Tuesday 26th of April 2016: DI: What is the main principle, idea and inspiration behind your design?
PO : Inspired by a friend looking for durable headphones for his kids, we created volume limiting headphones that keep noise levels down to WHOs standards. Realising there were few safe options on the market for kids, we decided to give parents a peace of mind and provide a safe sound solution with the option of multiple kids sharing one device.

DI: What has been your main focus in designing this work? Especially what did you want to achieve?
PO : The focus is to design a quality product for kids that is safe, and made to last. We also wanted to give parents a piece of mind. It's designed to be used by kids of all ages, anytime, anywhere and approved by parents.

DI: What are your future plans for this award winning design?
PO : We would like to create different versions of BuddyPhones that cater to different needs and to be used in different environments. All while being safe, durable and fun to use.

DI: How long did it take you to design this particular concept?
PO : It has been in making for just over two years.

DI: Why did you design this particular concept? Was this design commissioned or did you decide to pursuit an inspiration?
PO : The design was a complete pursuit of inspiration. According to specialists, exposure to excessive levels of sound is proven to be damaging and can cause adverse long-term effect. When we are exposed to harmful noise, sounds that are too loud or loud sounds that last a long time, sensitive structures in our inner ear can be damaged, causing noise-induced hearing loss. We wanted to create a functional and stylish solution that would provide parents with a protection for their children’s delicate eardrums and hearing. Just as construction workers protect their ears with earplugs, onanoff created BuddyPhones to protect little music-lovers.

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?
PO : We do all our production ourselves through contract manufacturing, so everything is under the umbrella brand onanoff and name of Buddyphones

DI: What made you design this particular type of work?
PO : We wanted to create a functional and stylish solution that would provide parents with a protection for their children’s delicate eardrums and hearing. A durable, high quality product that are safe for kids to use and fun as well. It is a viable choice for children with sensitive hearing, attention deficits and autism. Approved by parents, enjoyed by kids.

DI: Where there any other designs and/or designers that helped the influence the design of your work?
PO : My amazing team at onanoff all had valuable input in the design process, as well as the kids who gave our prototypes a test run. Their feedback, as well as their parent's feedback was very important for us to make the best BuddyPhones we possibly could.

DI: Who is the target customer for his design?
PO : Target customers are kids of all ages and parents who want to protect their children's delicate hearing.

DI: What sets this design apart from other similar or resembling concepts?
PO : After researching the market we realised there was a lack of high quality volume limiting headphones for kids. BuddyPhones is a safe sound solution for kids limiting volume at 85db. They are durable, adjustable, with soft anti allergenic ear pads for maximum comfort and a detachable flat cable designed for less entanglement. The BuddyCable audio splitter allows up to 4 kids to share one device. Colorful DIY stickers and built in microphone added for fun and creativity.

DI: How did you come up with the name for this design? What does it mean?
PO : BuddyPhones are all about sharing and safety. They are aptly named BuddyPhones as they are designed to be shared with you best buddy. Up to four buddies can share one device squabble-free, using the BuddyCable audio splitter.

DI: Which design tools did you use when you were working on this project?
PO : AutoCad, Illustrator, Photoshop

DI: What is the most unique aspect of your design?
PO : BuddyPhones is a safe sound solution for kids limiting volume at 85db, the recommended level by the World Health Organization. Available in Standard and Foldable Travel versions, they are durable, adjustable, with soft anti allergenic ear pads for maximum comfort and a detachable flat cable designed for less entanglement. The BuddyCable audio splitter allows up to 4 kids to share one device. Colorful DIY stickers and built in microphone added for fun and creativity. Travel version is foldable and comes in a travel bag.

DI: Who did you collaborate with for this design? Did you work with people with technical / specialized skills?
PO : After first testing we worked with acoustic experts and local audiologists to get the best safe quality sound as well mechanical engineers to make it robust enough and that the materials where safe. We worked as well with different parties to ensure the social compliance of our manufacturing partners.

DI: What is the role of technology in this particular design?
PO : With the always on circuitry limiting volume to 85db, we wanted to design safe headphones for kids. BuddyPhones are made from durable, robust materials, ABS housing and headband of specially calibrated polyproplene that bends in every direction. A detachable cable to minimize choking and entanglement risk as it plugs out of the headphones if pulled. Our patented BuddyCable system allows friends to share, from either headphones side or from the device side.

DI: Is your design influenced by data or analytical research in any way? What kind of research did you conduct for making this design?
PO : Yes, we did a thorough research of the market for children's headphones and saw a gap in the market for a product like BuddyPhones. There was a definite lack of high quality volume limiting headphones for kids out there, which further fuelled our creation of the product.

DI: What are some of the challenges you faced during the design/realization of your concept?
PO : Achieving the durability we wanted and reach our standard of safety. After first testing we worked with acoustic experts and local audiologists to get the best quality sound. Based on feedback the PU cushioning was made anti-allergic for kids sensitive skin and bendy headbands less likely to snap if they are sat on, dropped or twisted. It took time to get the formula right, plastic had to be strong but not so brittle it would break. Soft and flexible to withstand pulling yet sturdy enough to hold its shape.

DI: How did you decide to submit your design to an international design competition?
PO : We've put a lot of work and effort making BuddyPhones and so we were curious to see if their quality would be recognised by an international design competition.

DI: What did you learn or how did you improve yourself during the designing of this work?
PO : It was a long road to achieving the durability we wanted and reach our standard of safety. By keep working on it and not giving up, we learned there is always room for improvement.

DI: Any other things you would like to cover that have not been covered in these questions?
PO : I think it's all been covered fairly well, thank you.