Are expandable products the next big thing?
In our over-saturated, cluttered and often wasteful world, it's exciting to come across products that have expandable features. Built with future in mind, these products grow, expand, and transform as our needs change. These companies innovated every-day products to create design that save space and natural resources and inspires us to think of product-design in a new way.
1. Shoes that Grow
Over 2 billion people in the world suffer from soil-transmitted parasites and diseases, and children are particularly susceptible to these diseases as they quickly grow out of shoes (and may not be able to afford a new pair). The Shoe That Grows adjust up to five sizes helping children in poor regions protect their feet. (theshoethatgrows.org). Transformable shoes is not a novel idea, several companies have designed shoes with heels that come off, such as Ze o Ze shoes made by Israeli designer Daniela Bekerman (danielabekerman.com) and Parisian company, Tanya Heath, that designs luxury multi-height removable heels (tanyaheath.com)
2. Expandable Pots
Much like children's growing feet, plants need bigger space every now and then, and re-potting a plant can be such a hassle. Made by a twin-designer duo based in London and Istanbul, the origami-shaped pots transform and expand as the plant grows. A few years ago, scientists discovered that plants can "sense the size of the pot" and will stop growing once the roots reach the pot. So this pot really makes both plants and people happy. (ayaskan.com)
3. The bed that transforms
Ask any parent and they will tell you how much stuff a baby needs. And just when you have everything, the kids grow out of it and you need new of everything. A Norwegian company called Stokke designs products that can be adjusted to last a lifetime. Their elegantly designed crib system adjusts to accommodate a child from birth to 7, and then transformed into chairs. (stokke.com).
The same company designed high chairs that adjusts with the child's development into adulthood.
There a number of other designers tapping into the much-needed adjustable furniture market. Froc, a Slovenia-based company created a chair for 6-month-to 10-year-old kids and everyone in between. They are launching a kick-starter this fall for Smart Froc, world's first smart high-chair. (froc.si) And then there's a portable Go With Me Chair that adjusts for 3-month-old-to-6-year-olds. (kelsyus.com)
4. Bikes that Grow
Adjustable seats on bikes is nothing new, but how about a bike that's adjustable in three directions? Spanish-based company called Orbea, makes bikes that grow along with their riders. In their words "This means: better ergonomic adaptation than traditional bikes (now most kids ride smaller or bigger bikes than they need for a longer time). Lower cost for the buyer (you get a product with a much longer lifespan). Higher component quality (durable products must have quality parts). Lower environmental impact (it benefits all)." (orbea.com)
By Yana Robbins, founder of Jumpstart Magazine