child bicycle seat concept design
2014 - 2015
Design the successor of the very successful Yepp Original seat.
I was the concept designer that reinforced the team at the ideation and conceptualisation stages. We were in a team team of 4, with two concept designers, one creative engineer and a project lead.
I worked on this project as employee of Vanderveer designers; everything shown below is work that I contributed to the team.
The Nexxt concept should also focus on the assembly in the production stage.
For the Nexxt concept we had to focus on lightweight-ness.
The Nexxt definitely had to be an evolution of the Yepp Original. We decided to evolve the character line by dividing seat and leg rest.
The Yepp Original, on the left, had the leg rest bending backwards. For the Nexxt, I suggested to give it a more dynamic look by tilting the leg rest forward. As you can see, on the right, this established the suggestion that the seat tilted backwards, because the parent was cycling sooo fast!
A pretty straight forward analogy for the leg rest would be a horse riding saddle. On the left you can see some of my brainstorm-doodles.
These led to the concept of the 'saddle leg shel'. It neatly detaches the volume from the seat, creating a lighter feel to it (not bulky, but 'lifted').
So I spent all Sunday working on this sketch. The next day I pitched it to the project team and to management. There was a silence.. I started doubting the idea, why would they take the risk? But then my bosses started pointing out all the USP's; "Let's do this", they said.
We presented the idea to the client later that week. He was immediately sold. An intensive research phase followed to investigate the materialisation and production.
We had a nice concept for the 'leg shell', but the seat shell wasn't quite there yet..
One Saturday I was watching the Vuelta a España on TV, and I was fascinated by all the helmets of the riders. I wanted to try that shape language in a bicycle seat!
Once I started sketching, the idea hit me:
Why don't we make the seat exactly like a helmet is made?
It fitted so well to the brief. The only thing was that we were already pretty far into the design process.. So I would have to convince management of the value of this idea, in order to get it through.
We needed to find potential production parties, in order to get a better understanding of how we should organise the product structure.
The challenging part was connecting the EPP shell to the rest of the product.
To get the production parties talking, I had made this exploded view of how we thought the product could be built up.
However, it left a lot of aspects 'blank'. Through talking with these parties, we were able to fill in those blanks and reduce the 'production risk'.
We had done a further investigation of what the product should look like, but parallel we also wanted to know more about how we could actually make this product.
Check how the dynamic character line prevailed! The 'saddle' leg shell looks very clean. But above all, the helmet analogy is very convincing in this product category, right?
The mini doesn't need a leg shell. So here, it's just the helmet analogy on its own. This seat turned out to be truly light.
Lightweight and safe front and rear mounted
child bike seat with a contemporary design,
providing premium comfort for your child.
End of the year 2016 the Yepp Nexxt seats were introduced by Thule. Below you can find some images of the final result.