BUGABOO: EVERY PARENT'S STROLLER DREAM, PART 1

by: Alicia Chua

BUGABOO: EVERY PARENT'S STROLLER DREAM, PART 1

As a company, Bugaboo never stops innovating, armed with the goal of producing only the best. Their ability to create and deliver some of the sturdiest strollers have made them industry frontrunners, and when paired with an innate flair for design they pretty much become invincible. We visited Bugaboo's headquarters in Amsterdam to get a glimpse of their latest Bugaboo x Diesel stroller, but exited learning a lot more about how the passionate team functions.

This mini series will reveal how core members of the Bugaboo team work together like a well oiled machine, each person an essential puzzle piece within the corporation. First up we have Max Barenbrug, Co-Founder and Chief Design Officer, who has captained the Bugaboo ship right from its beginning. Responsible for the brand's prominence, he has nothing but love for his company, taking absolute pride in their ability to push out revolutionary solutions.

BUGABOO: EVERY PARENT'S STROLLER DREAM, PART 1

For starters, paint us a picture of how Bugaboo started. Has it always been a design-centric brand or was that a secondary factor that developed later on?

Bugaboo started with design, and I believe design is at the beginning of every company. Design is entrepreneurial, and you have to allow the creative process to guide you through creating something new. You need a holistic approach, because you're also designing for logistics, sales and marketing. You're creating a product they can build a story from and feel happy selling. Bugaboo was actually my graduation project, when I designed a stroller meant for men [laughs]. It allows dads to look stylish and lead an active life, since our strollers allow transportation of your child through even difficult terrain.

BUGABOO: EVERY PARENT'S STROLLER DREAM, PART 1

Image: First Bugaboo by Max Barenbrug

What do you reckon are the signature aspects of Bugaboo's designs? What sets it apart from the competitors?

At Bugaboo, we believe in beauty, functionality and authenticity. We go all out to make our products possible and we also don't make things a lot of people make. For example, our seat can be independently detached from the stroller and put on the ground. We started that. We also create each stroller with its complexity based in a central joint. It may look simple, but all the complicated functions are stored there. We always look ahead and innovate, so with Bugaboo you know you're buying something authentic.

How independent is the conceptualisation process in Bugaboo? How much is completed internally before gathering input from outside parties?

We don't want too much input from the outside market. We let our own beliefs rule and we try to fantasise about what our new products could be. Then gradually, we'll feel clearer about what we're going to make. That's when talking to parents, consumers and stakeholders come in. Because the creative process is a strange process and you won't know what you'll eventually create. So if you ask these people too early, they'll unknowingly push you towards a certain direction.

Having successfully built Bugaboo from scratch, what were some of the most essential design principles you heavily relied on?

Don't create something beautiful for the sake of it and make sure it's also functional and unique. My philosophy is to continuously update and improve. Today we feel it's complex to fill needs, but this complexity needs to be brought back to its simplest form. When you try to make something very functional and beautiful, all those elements make it complicated and the consumer may not understand. That's why you have to bring it back to its simplest form. For example, every time a cartoonist draws a stroller they always draw a Bugaboo, because its image is so simple it's imprinted in their eyes.

Bugaboo has done a number of collaborations, most recently with Diesel. How has that been for you and which companies would you be most excited to work with in future?

The funny thing about collaborating is, you have to let go. You have to allow others to do things for you and leave them be when they work out the creative process. We select good companies so we have full trust in them. I like Diesel and the corporation is very exciting. I had trust in the brand and also our own people to work it out. Now, I'm very proud of the collaboration stroller. Personally, I would like to collaborate with Freitag and also The People Of The Labyrinths.

BUGABOO: EVERY PARENT'S STROLLER DREAM, PART 1

Image: One of three collaborations with Diesel

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