Problem solving for designers: Pusku Pusku
Problem solving is a designers’ quality. We can define problem solving as the ability to find valid solutions starting from the proper understanding of the initial problem. It is an ability based on intelligence, remember? Today we will tell you about a case study in which this ability proved to be crucial for the success of the whole project.
From the problem to the opportunity: the beanbag
Pusku Pusku, a dynamic brand born in 2008 in Lithuania, entrusted us with the design of their new beanbag chair. We designers are used to design products with a predictable or controllable form that can be reproduced. The process is standard: drawings, prototypes and production. But this time we could not do that: we had to change our approach.
But what is a beanbag? The product was born in 1968 from the minds of the interior designers Gatti, Teodoro and Paolini. In short, it is a piece of furniture made of sewn fabric filled with polystyrene, which adapts to the weight and body of a person. This feature makes it light, versatile, easy to move, comfortable to rest on and always difficult to design.
Imagine finding yourself drawing an object that by definition has no shape: difficult, right? We could not understand the behavior of the beanbag once filled and used, and we could not simulate the object on a computer.
And here is where problem solving comes into play. We analyzed the problem and brought forth several hypotheses, until we found the best solution; namely, to create mini-models made with cloth, sewn by hand and filled with rice to understand how the product worked as the design changed. Thanks to this mini-prototype we identified the key elements and where to intervene to maintain a controlled form and a pleasant aesthetic.
Designing the perfect beanbag
To design Pusku Pusku’s beanbag we started from their best seller, the “seat” model: designing a best seller is not easy, let alone improving it. The qualities of the “seat” model were clear: comfort, neutral and democratic form, perfect in all contexts, and a simple production.
So we asked ourselves on which strategic assets to work on, as the principles of our concrete and creative design teach us. We liked the idea of offering the customer a different, fun and versatile beanbag chair. The first step was designing a more harmonious, gentle and appealing shape. Then we played with the structure, dividing the fabrics between two areas: and so a multi-colored, customizable, custom-made bean bag was created. Third point: working on the details to give even more personality and uniqueness to the product.
The product has also different uses: not only in the domestic environment, but also in a bar, in an office, at festivals, in public and private spaces and many more. All places where you can relax, but also work. So we created a comfortable, versatile and at the same time functional chair: it needed to have the typical beanbag comfort, but with a backrest that allows you to sit and work on the computer.
Problem solving: a story of success
An iconic and complicated product, a new creative process, the need to improve a best seller: the premises were ambitious but the result of the project was satisfying even beyond our expectations. We challenged ourselves together with the client, and we won the challenge.
One of the greatest satisfactions? The perfect cohesion between drawings, models and the final product: this is why the concept is fundamental.