Lauren Maat noticed how unsightly children’s furniture was. Children’s furniture is not made with the same aesthetic standards as adult furniture. Perhaps this reflects the feeling that children are likely to break their furniture. Perhaps it’s because designers feel that as childhood is such a transient phase in human life, focusing on aesthetics is pointless.
Yet, many parents do care about the aesthetics of children’s furniture and do not believe that they have to compromise aesthetics to get durable children’s furniture. Maat, as the Holland Sentinel reports, decided to do something about this.
Maat is a Holland, Michigan native. She’s spent all her life there and met her husband while she learnt at Holland Christian High School. After High School she went to Hope College. After college, she and her husband spent a decade traveling the world. When it came time to raise a family, they returned to their roots in the summer of 2019.
Her husband is employed by Herman Miller, so he has a lot of experience in the furniture industry. Herman Miller is famed for its office furniture and equipment, and home furnishings. So it’s easy for the family to get high quality adult furniture.
What wasn’t easy for the couple to get, was high quality children’s furniture. The couple noticed that there was this huge gulf in standards between their adult furniture and their children’s furniture. This was pretty hard to reconcile. They just couldn’t find children’s furniture that was in harmony with the rest of their furniture.
Maat’s insight was thanks to her time working in venture capital and with startups. She realised there was a gap in the market and walked herself through what the consumer would want. She’s not a furniture person, but she understands business and the importance of product-market fit.
She partnered with Filter Studio, a product design consultancy that works with people like her to bring products to life. She shared her vision of what she wanted from children’s furniture, in terms of aesthetics, and functionality. Over many months, they worked and reworked bucket loads of ideas until they hit upon a product they were really happy with: the Oslo Tower. This became the first product that her company, Audwell, released.
The Oslo Tower was built to encourage children to be active participants of their world. It draws them out to join their parents and siblings in shaping the world and rejoicing in it. Parents can use the Oslo Tower to get their children involved in various activities around the house. Your kids can help you with the cooking; they can learn to brush their own teeth in front of the mirror; and many other activities. The Oslo Tower can be moved from room to room as your children engage in the world around them.
The only thing they can’t do is replace a Nuna car seat.
Oslo Towers are made for children ranging from 18-months old to five years old. Children love to participate in the daily activities of their parents. For them, it’s a thrill to help out. Not a chore. The Oslo Tower gives them a way to participate and feel like their help matters. Rather than shooing the kids away, you can draw them near on top of an Oslo Tower.