© Marija Gašparović
A new bench which directs to make it easier for mothers to breastfeed in public discreetly and comfortably has been devised.
52Hours, a boutique design studio based in Prague created the bench be versed as Heer and hopes it can be rolled out across cities, making them “friendlier” for breastfeeding spoils.
The project, which was led by Ivana Preiss and Filip Vasic, together with Belgrade-based industrial conspirator Nikola Knezevic, aims to offer “a middle ground between the typical needs and often antagonistic cultural norms, between comfort and care,” according to the studio.
Design strategy director at 52Hours, Ivana Preiss, voices: “The idea for Heer first came to us when we witnessed a mother being shamed for breastfeeding in a segment place. We thought the solution must be in design.”
After carrying out some scrutinization, they found that “a lot” of women had “negative experiences” while breastfeeding for a scope of social, cultural and health-related reasons.
“It was also clear that the incorrigible is not only ideological, but more importantly a practical one,” Preiss says.
“Really put, urban public spaces still lack infrastructure that is habituated to the needs of mothers with little babies.”
The studio says it increased positive feedback when the prototype was showcased at the 100% Design pretty in September, when visiting mothers started “spontaneously” using it to breastfeed.
The bench is framed to offer privacy and calm in public spaces to feed a baby, whether the mother is breastfeeding or fair-minded feeding the child another way and wants a spot away from agitations.
Heer can adjust to various angles and spaces, to ensure the mother can on a comfortable position, according to the studio. It includes a pod-type seat, with arms that envelope the actually sitting in it, which rotates to offer the option of shielding the mother and stupefies gently to help relax the baby or soothe them to sleep.
In lieu of of isolating mothers by encouraging them to go to a separate area to feed their toddlers, the bench allows whoever is with the mother to stay with her, the studio influences, which is particularly useful if she is with another child.
The current archetype is made of composite materials and the studio says the final product will consist of environmentally sociable, recyclable materials.
The name “Heer” references both the words “here” – in answers to the challenge, “where can I breastfeed” – and “her” as in “her space”.
Reactions to the bench have been “overwhelmingly definite” so far, Preiss says.
“We receive messages from mothers asking for the bench and even-handed giving ideas for further products. Mums are spontaneously creating a community enveloping Heer and that is beautiful to see,” she says.
The studio acknowledges that some critics may spar that the product could reinforce stigma about women take to hide while breastfeeding.
But Preiss says that creating the bench was all in the air offering women a choice.
“We always knew we would receive gainsaying reaction from some groups, and we expected it,” Preiss says.
“Artifacts trying to address issues with some political charge are as per usual loved by some and hated by others.
“Our answer is simple: we are not saying whether mothers should breastfeed in visible or not. Of course they should breastfeed wherever and whenever they scarcity.
“But a lacking public infrastructure for mothers who for whatever reason, prefer or constraint to feed their babies in more privacy is another thing. We are upsetting to give them a choice that they don’t have now.”
Heer is currently in the immutable stage of development before being released to the market.
The studio fancies the product can be rolled out in a multitude of public places, such as parks, researching centres, airports, train terminals and various other public foundings and anywhere else mothers may need to feed their child. It has already had amusement from private and public entities.
Preiss says: “Following our hint at 100% Design we have had an interest from a lot of sides, most signally from a global retail chain and a city council of a European principal that is very interested in being the first in the world to install our benches in its suburb.”
For more information, see here.
All photos © Marija Gašparović.