Giulia Harper Cubby

  • Tauira / Student
    Giulia Harper
  • Kaiako / Lecturer
    Stephen Reay
Judge's comments:

Deceptively simple, this multipurpose product addresses a number of pain points throughout the bath time routine, wrapped up in a clean and simple form designed to sit comfortably in a range of different bathroom environments.

The judges praised the user-centred design approach, demonstrating a thorough understanding of the user journey and applying rigorous design process to arrive at a compelling and desirable product solution.


Why does early parenthood have to be a state of survival?

There are many hazards in the bathroom for young children. While ‘bath time’ can be a time of great fun, it requires constant vigilance to be safe. For new parents trying to establish consistent routines it can sometimes feel like they are in “survival mode” — just hanging on and trying to raise their young children. In this project, I explore methods of creating support for parents to alleviate bath time stress so parents can enjoy these little moments with their children.

By using a user-centred design approach, I sought to understand the needs of parents with young children. I am not a parent myself. However, I had the opportunity to immerse myself into a parental mindset by helping care for and bathe young children over a period of weeks. This experience helped me gain empathy for families and insight into areas requiring the most support such as, your hands are always full, everything is out of reach, and you can’t afford to look away. With the experience and insight I had gained, I explore and tested concepts and prototypes utilizing consistent feedback from my key users.

Cubby is a transformable furniture system, designed to support both the mind and body of parents of young children. Its design embodies simplicity and functionality to meet their unique needs during bath time by supporting all stages of the child's routine. Cubby brings everything within reach so parents don't have to look away.

Cubby’s simplistic design provides an experience that transforms as kids' bath time routines unfold. The design is made up of wet and dry storage supported by a transformable cushion to accommodate parents' needs. The wet storage is designed to support parents during bath time. With its height and open design, Cubby enables easy access for parents and fosters children to interact with their own routines building foundations for their own independence at a young age. Cubby’s dry section is discrete and creates a space for kids' aftercare products, creating a complete routine. The cushion transforms to support parents' journey as a seat, knee pad and changing mat adapting and following throughout their routine. Cubby’s incorporated wheels allow for effortless mobility and adaptability within the whole bathroom space. Cubby’s transformative product eco-system provides support and caters to each parent's needs.

Products designed for today's parents tend to be marketing-driven rather than meeting their true needs. Such products are often used for several months before being outgrown. Cubby offers versatility for parents with its simplistic design fitting into any space, extending its capabilities outside the bathroom. Along with providing a dedicated space for children's routines as they age, Cubby ensures a long-lasting routine buddy — a supportive ecosystem that follows through their life’s journey.