Leading design and innovation agency HUGE Design have revealed details of their work on Ergobaby's Compact City Stroller. The fusion of HUGE's experience in hardware design and Ergobaby's expertise in the soft goods sector resulted in the creation of a sleek and robust ultra-compact stroller, with its premium nature separating it from the industry norm. With its form designed to closely mimic the body of the passenger, METRO is the only stroller on the market awarded a 'Back Healthy' certificate by the AGR, Germany's medical association for back pain. Its striking aesthetic and abundance of features have been developed to appeal to discerning, urban parents.
Chris Harsacky, partner at HUGE Design
Bill Webb, partner at HUGE Design
After carrying out extensive trend research, HUGE identified the desire from a new and growing group of urban parents to have access to baby products that are equally as visually polished and high-quality as they are practical and functional. The research was used to drive the final design, in addition to the functional aspects of the stroller developed by Ergobaby's engineers, with the primary light blue and black colourway another example of blending of the product's 'hard' and 'soft' aspects. This was done to ensure that the stroller's aesthetics matched with the potential desires of the identified, parent persona.
Furthermore, as ultra-compact strollers also tend to be considered fragile, Ergobaby and HUGE designed METRO to be and appear solid and robust, once again blending industrial design principles with the softness of Ergobaby's brand identity. With the knowledge that parents are emotionally attached to the notion of their child being comfortable and secure, HUGE then proceeded to sculpt the form of the product, making it more rounded and smoother so that it would 'hug' the profile of the baby – an extension of Ergobaby's key brand theme.
Chris Harsacky, partner at HUGE Design commented, "We applied the same principles from past transport design projects to METRO so that it would look as slick and contemporary as possible. We also created contours to really emphasise the tight security that it provides around the baby. All of this was to improve Ergobaby's share in a booming market of baby strollers."
Bill Webb, partner at HUGE Design, continued: "Because of the size of ultra-compact strollers, there's always the danger that they will be perceived as cheap. That's why a lot of emphasis was put on the colour, materials and finish of the stroller. We used our trend research and Ergobaby's experience in fabrics to craft something with a more premium feel."
HUGE's experience in working with technical materials for the likes of Nike helped them create a stroller with a particularly smooth finish, with all features flowing in a seamless, modern and cohesive way. The joint connecting the arms of the stroller for example has been developed to create softer intersections throughout the product, making it appear contemporary yet approachable. Additionally, the meshed tray underneath the seat provides storage space for the parent's belongings, as well as protection from dirt, mud and rain. A number of other colourways have also been developed so that the stroller can blend easily with the fashion sense of the parents.
Colter Leys, Director, Product Development at Ergobaby commented, "HUGE was a great partner in the METRO project, taking the functional bones we'd developed and tested with parents, and morphing them into a contemporary package that really sets METRO apart. Bill and Chris continued to work with us throughout final testing, tooling and pre-production so that we could stay true to their original vision as we pushed the stroller into reality."