Heer (Breastfeeding Bench) by Ivana Preiss
2018 - 2019, Golden A' Street Furniture Design Award Winner
Inspiration
The idea for heer first came to us when we witnessed a mother being shamed for breastfeeding in a public place. We thought the solution must be in design. Although breastfeeding in public becomes increasingly accepted, for various cultural, psychological or other reasons many mothers still feel uneasy about it. On the other hand, the places purposed for breastfeeding are rare, poorly designed, isolated and uncomfortable. Above all, they practically reinforce exclusion of mothers.
Creativity
heer is the world’s first ergonomically designed bench that enables mothers to comfortably breastfeed in public spaces. With heer, entire cities will become friendlier and more accessible to moms and babies. heer rotates, so moms can choose a position that suits them best. It gently rocks and calms both mom and baby. It has shields to offer privacy to moms that need it, and to protect babies from distraction when nursing.
Design Challenges
So far, practically the only criticism came at the ideological level from some feminists who argue that creation of designated spaces for breastfeeding only reinforces the stigma and encourages mothers to hide. We are familiar with the Critical Social Theory and this is something we have expected from the beginning. But our approach is practical, not ideological. We are not deciding whether mothers should breastfeed in public spaces or not. What we are trying is to offer a choice to those mothers who currently feel they don’t have it. We are glad that so many mothers understand this and support us.
Production Technology
heer is committed to sustainability agenda, and the production will be based on environment-friendly, recyclable materials. The current functional prototype was made of composite materials: polyester resin/glass.
       
     
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