Sustainable Design from BONNSU | In bed With Designers Taipei

BONNSU was founded in 2010 by Adam Bonnier and Ai Su Bonnier, hailing from Sweden and Taiwan respectively. At BONNSU they strive to give objects more personality and meaning, often incorporating themes of cultural overlapping and sustainable development methods. BONNSU is both a design studio and brand where the onus is heavily on uniqueness. Let’s hear why they’re looking forward to In bed With Designers and find out a little bit more about their designs.

Bonnsu-sustainable-sensational-coming-to-In-bed-WIth-Designers3© Bonnsu – buymedesign

Why are you participating in this event, In bed with Designers? In your eyes, what sets this event apart?

We have participated in traditional trade shows but found they are not a good match for us. Most trade shows are focused solely on selling products but

In Bed With Designers provides an experience for the visitors and an opportunity to connect with our brand. In this kind of event we feel we can deliver our design and brand identity to the end user in a relaxed and more intimate environment.

What is your point of difference as a designer?

We strive to give objects more personality and meaning, often incorporating themes of cultural overlapping and sustainable development methods.

 Ai is Taiwanese, with a background in Fine arts and Automotive design. Adam is Swedish but grew up in USA and majored in product design. Our mix of backgrounds and personalities often creates surprising results and we enjoy exploring how we can interpret new topics together.

Bonnsu-sustainable-sensational-coming-to-In-bed-WIth-Designers2© Bonnsu – buymedesign

 Please could you tell me about Security Swaddle? What inspired the idea?

 We often design from our own experiences, and recently we had our first baby! Something that struck us is that most baby products are extremely short lived since a child is always in change with new needs. At the same time many of us remember feeling a strong attachment to a favorite toy or blanket. That connection is so strong it can last for years, and even into adulthood the touch and smell of similar objects can bring us back to those early memories.  

We wanted to create a baby product which would last for a longer time and keep creating an emotional connection as the child grows. The Security Swaddle starts as a safe and comforting wrap which soon becomes infused with the child’s own smell, creating a strong bond. As the baby becomes more capable the swaddle adjusts, allowing him more freedom to explore while always providing a feeling of emotional comfort and safety.

Security Swaddle is currently an idea, however we have received a few inquiries and are considering developing it further if there is enough interest.

 Is long-lasting design important to you? If so, why?

 Absolutely! Long-lasting design is a great strategy for minimizing waste because it implies that the object is able to create a strong emotional relationship with the user.  Today it’s not enough to only function well, as witnessed by so many fully functioning products found in the trash. You need to make the product more meaningful than what it just “does”. The real benefit of this thinking isn’t that the product will endure for many years; it will encourage the designer to create a better product which will be loved.

Bonnsu-sustainable-sensational-coming-to-In-bed-WIth-Designers© Bonnsu – buymedesign

 And what about sustainability as a whole? Why is this important in design?

We often discuss what we call the designers dilemma, which is that we are part of an industry based on making “things”. There are already more things being produced than we need and the majority of these things will eventually find their way to a landfill. On the other hand things can improve peoples lives both emotionally and through better solutions. It keeps us up at night!

In our experience there is no single solution for this difficult issue but sustainable design thinking can be applied in many different ways. One example is one of our products being showcased during In Bed With Designers. It is a family of stackable containers made with a type of ecological plastic called Ecopoly. Ecopoly is biodegradable and made from vegetable starch. This allows the product to break down and decompose naturally instead of lasting for thousands of years in a landfill. The drawback is that Ecopoly has a limited lifespan and will begin to lose its strength after roughly 5 years. This is actually the opposite of long lasting design and not suitable for many products. However a product focused on creating a decorative interior style with a simple function is an ideal candidate for this material; most people tend to either move or update their home interior every few years.

On the opposite side we are currently developing a new lighting product which requires electronics components such as LED, circuit boards etc. These can not be recycled easily and are often simply thrown away. To avoid this happening we have created two key design features. One is that we have pinpointed the components most likely to eventually fail and then designed the product so that those components are easily replaced by the user. Instead of tossing the whole product only a small part becomes trash and the product lives on. The other design feature is a set of exchangeable sheets with a decorative graphic print on them. These sheets are the personality of the light. If the user wants to change the feeling of his light to match a new interior he can easily replace the old sheets with a new set including a different graphic print. The old sheets can then be saved to “renew” the light again at a later time or easily recycled.

Besides these two examples we are always exploring new materials and methods for producing our products in a more sustainable way. If all goes well you may soon see new products made from pressed Bamboo fibers!

If you want to know more about BONNSU and their products, projects, and creations, come down to In bed With Designers at VVG Taipei from the 8-12 October.  In bed With Designers is Asia’s first boutique designer sleepover connecting emerging visionary designers with passionate design lovers, media, and industry professionals and buyers in a relaxed and multi-sensory business and networking platform.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>