PRODUCT DESIGN, ENGINEERING
PrODUCTS to Grow with
Merging design with functionality, the Sit-to-Step High Chair was designed to fit into the environment of the home without compromising on useful features like reclining, and folding for storage.
The Sit-to-Step High Chair starts as a feeding chair for children as young as 3 months and later converts to a step stool for cooking with mom and dad. The multi-functional nature of this high chair doubles the product lifespan and provides extra benefit to parents looking to invest in products that help their children grow.
WHAT WE DID
From early childhood and onward, mealtime is about togetherness, starting with food preparation in the kitchen and ending with a shared meal. This concept drove MINIMAL’s thinking behind the high chair’s sit-to-step capability and other design details. The front of the tray is flat and made to nest above the dinner table allowing the child to feel closer to their parents. The shelf below the chair provides a storage area out of the child’s reach to help keep parents from getting up in the middle of dinner. And finally the conversion from high chair to step stool was born out of the tradition of cooking together with your child.
Through observational and first-hand research, MINIMAL also spent time considering the challenges faced by parents during meal-time and found that many of those pain points were experienced while putting the child into the chair or taking the child out. The tray was made to rotate to either side or be completely removed with the use of only one hand making it easier to place the child in the chair. It was also designed with the ability to sit flat on any surface for easy post meal-time cleanup.
As part of the process, we conducted immersive research with many of our MINIMAL first time parents and community, identifying challenges with cleaning, entertainment, and the overall improvisation that happens during meal time, prep and clean up. Together with SkipHop we conducted co-creation workshops and collaborative brainstorms to discover themes to explore in subsequent phases.
In an effort to validate ergonomics and safety concerns, we created many full scale prototypes and engineered numerous mechanisms to support the modular components that would need to comply with safety standards. The result was a chair that leveraged materials that felt suitable for the home, functionality that made things easier, and value that went beyond the first few years.