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Design is at the heart of everything we do at Bobux. But what is design?
We all know products we like, and products that annoy us. More often than not it’s the annoying products that stand out. This is partly because good design solves problems that you didn’t know you had. The way a phone sits in your hand, the ease of opening and closing a container and even the comfort of a chair can all be overlooked because we naturally expect things to be easy to use. When things are not easy to use, then we notice. Good design is about anticipating what people want and delivering that in your product.
The way to do this is to really understand the user of the product. It’s about talking with them and understanding the feelings governing how and why they do things. In our case, this is interesting because we have two users: the child and the parent. Our challenge is to deeply understand how kids are using their shoes and what is important to mom and dad in a kids shoe.
By studying the varied movements of children in action and applying our foot health knowledge we are able to design shoes that are the best thing you can do for your kids' feet. And by listening to parents we are able to tweak the appearance and incorporate some ease of use features like elastic closure systems for example.
OUR DESIGN PROCESS
This understanding, and the prototyping and production that stems from it, is the basis of "design thinking" - a philosophy that is at the very heart of Bobux as a company. By embracing true design we are able to create shoes that are both stylish and good for you - no small feat if you take a look at the alternatives out there!
Senior Footwear Designer
I have the amazing role of designing and creating shoes for Bobux which has taking me on a wonderful journey over the past 13 years. I was traditionally trained in Fashion Design and Technology with a passion for shoes and a love for children. Trends are a cycle and my knowledge and passion for good design throughout the ages helps me to create designs that are relevant and timeless. Quality materials and beautiful leathers are the key inspiration for my designs. I develop the materials, leathers and the patterns directly with our tanneries and factories to make sure that every child has quality footwear that is the best for their growing feet. Children are at the heart of every design and they are an integral part of the design process. My dreams, my passion, my 2 children and the beautiful country I live in, New Zealand, help guide my style and my life.
To me, good design requires a balance of form and function. As a designer for Bobux, I do my best to ensure that what I design is easy to use, and helps to solve a problem while giving a little bit of happiness. I have always been known for my over active imagination, so working for a children’s company is amazing because I feel like I understand what our littlest customers are seeing! The calmness of European design has always inspired me, but on the flipside I’m also in love with the beautiful bright colors and rich detailing in traditional Mexican and Spanish artworks. My favorite aesthetic is a little of both - a combination of clean and uncluttered, with a tiny splash of beautiful detail. Two of my favorite designers are Dieter Rams, who created the ivory SK 55 record player for Braun in Germany, and Fashion Designer Nick Wooster, who can put together the most eclectic mix of prints and colors and pull them off every time.
Assistant Footwear Designer
I am an industrial designer trained at Auckland University of Technology. Design for me is a way to connect the past to a better future. Design is also a way of giving people a meaningful experience through a product. For me design lives at the nexus of aesthetic and technology. Having an automotive designer as a father has ingrained in me the importance of aesthetic rules and product functions and how they compliment each other in the world of industrial design. Working at Bobux has provided me the opportunity to create something that helps people in their everyday life and gives them a meaningful experience through an aesthetically pleasing product. Although Bobux is a brand of kid's shoes, we design for fashion aware adults that appreciate design. It’s a really exciting time for Bobux and for me as a designer.
Inspiration to me is focused around how my work makes people feel. I want them to be happy, just as I am inspired by the happiness around me. Design to me is when beautiful materials and practical elements come together into one to form something high quality, and useful. A synergistic approach to both form and function. My overall design aesthetic is to create a product that is simple, effortless but with an element of fun. I like fashion that is simple enough for you to wear all the time, but unique enough for the person wearing it to feel really special. I like to keep on top of global design trends and I tend to follow independent designers rather than large, big chain brands. My favorites are from all over the world and include Raquel Allegra (U.S.), Zanzan eyewear (UK), Kowtow clothing (NZ) and Peir Wu (UK). I also follow design studios such as Arro Studio in Paris, and Loris & Livia in London. I try however, not to be too inspired by other designer’s aesthetic, but more by lifestyle and new production methods. Right now people want it all: Style, comfort, and versatility all in one. I believe future products will be a seamless combination of handicraft and technical machine work, which is something I really want to explore.