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Product design ©Dan Dryer A/S
©Dan Dryer A/S
Design thinking

Product design with extruded aluminium

We found that the only way to accommodate the product demands and at the same time achieve a calm and Nordic design, was with extruded aluminium.

When VE2 was given the opportunity by the Danish company Dan Dryer A/S to design a baby changing station for public restrooms – at hotels, airports, restaurants and such – we faced two constraints. One was that the changing station would be part of an already existing product line, Björk.

The second was that the product would have to fulfill the technical standard in the French market. We felt that this was going to be the biggest challenge, because the Björk series for hand dryers and soap dispensers – which VE2 designed – won the Red Dot Design Award in 2015. We knew it was good.

You never start a design process thinking that you are going to win a design award or open a new market for a customer, even though it does happen.

Google research, end-user interviews and common sense

When we start the sketch phase, we do not know what material we are going to use. We try not to limit our creativity. With the changing station, we did a lot of sketching! And we found that the only way to accommodate the demands and at the same time achieve a calm and Nordic design, was with extruded aluminium.

Then we began researching the market and found out that there was a big gap in baby changing stations that lived up to the standard and at the same time were durable, without looking too technical.

Product design with extruded aluminium

One of the challenges working with extrusion is the fact that it easily can get a “sliced” look. But in this case the fit was perfect – the extruded shield that serves as a basis for the child and which also matches the Björk design DNA when folded up, is just perfect.

The amount of products that Dan Dryer A/S was expecting to produce didn’t warrant a high tooling cost, but we saw that such a design wouldn’t really fulfill the DNA and the clean look that we wanted. So we convinced Dan Dryer that it would be more beautiful and efficient if we could make the shield in one piece in extruded aluminium.

They would save time and money in assembly and welding, and that they would wind up having a much better looking product.

We put a lot of effort into making sure the weight of this aluminium profile wouldn’t appear to the user. It is actually very smooth and well balanced when you fold it down and up. You don’t feel it is a heavy piece of metal.

folding seat

Red Dot Award for design excellence

The Björk series baby changing table won an international Red Dot Design Award in the category “Best of the Best” for design excellence. More important, it opened a new market for Dan Dryer A/S.

Before this, the healthcare sector had to take what they could get. Having a seamless design that is easy to clean and maintain gives Dan Dryer A/S a unique position in the healthcare sector.

Interested in learning more?

Contact us to learn more about aluminium extruded solutions in your product design!

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