A chair for small people and big moments
Most parents want their smallest children to also be able to join them at the dining table. This is where we learn good eating habits, talk to each other, and have cozy times together. But how should a good highchair look? How can it suit the child over several years? And how do you avoid the chair legs which are often in the way? These were the questions that triggered the creation of LANGUR highchair.
When we interview families around the world, it often comes up that both parents and children really appreciate sitting down and eating together. It's important that everyone sits comfortably at the table – even the smallest children. The designer Jonas Fritzdorf has three children of different ages and at his home there was almost always a highchair at the table over the course of fifteen years. But there was one detail that bothered Jonas during those years. ”We tried many different functional highchairs, but all models had outward angled legs that we constantly ran into”.
Ideas takes shape
Jonas thought about several different solutions, but there was never really time to see them through during those intensive children years. Several years later, he was suddenly reminded of the problem with the chair legs. ”I sat in a restaurant and saw how the waitress time and time again bumped into the legs of a highchair. I thought it was time to bring those ideas to the drawing board again”. When Jonas contacted IKEA, it just so happened that the product developer Hanna Ahlberg had just started looking at new highchair models. ”It was good timing. We wanted to broaden the range and develop a quality chair that fits the growing child from the moment they can sit unsupported”, says Hanna. This was the beginning of an intensive cooperation that began with brainstorming in Sweden and continued in China where the chair ideas were refined directly on the factory floor.
Safety first for important furniture
The reason that highchairs with four legs often look the way they do is that the seat is relatively small and the legs must be angled outwards to give the chair stability. Jonas' solution for that challenge was two L-shaped runners angled towards the chair's backside which gives LANGUR a stable design. To make sure the child can use the same chair for several years, Jonas and Hanna developed an insert where the child sits secure and stable. When the insert is removed, LANGUR becomes a junior chair with comfortable flexibility. Now Jonas's own children have grown up and a highchair is no longer needed. ”But I think it was good that the ideas could mature a long time and that I didn't design this chair 'in the heat of the moment',” says Jonas smiling. ”It became a better chair by being the subject of an entire team’s focus and going through the safety tests which IKEA performs".