The world’s first ergonomically designed bench that enables mothers to comfortably breastfeed in public.
With heer, airports, shopping malls, campuses, public institutions and entire cities will become friendlier and more accessible to moms and babies.
heer is the first design-driven solution to the controversy of breastfeeding in public, which finds the middle ground between the natural needs and often antagonistic cultural norms, between comfort and discretion.
Although breastfeeding in public becomes increasingly accepted, for various cultural, psychological or other reasons many mothers still feel uneasy about it. On the other hand, the places purposed for breastfeeding are rare, poorly designed, isolated and uncomfortable. Above all, they practically reinforce exclusion of mothers.
heer is meant to provide an alternative. Its elegant shields cover the bust area, securing privacy without disturbing the surroundings. Designed and tested through several iterations, heer enables moms to take the most comfortable position, by effortlessly turning and tilting the seat, a helpful feature when putting the baby to sleep.
But that is not all. heer also includes the adjacent bench that provides seating for the persons accompanying the mother, such as the other child, partner or friend. It is shaped to adjust to various spaces and angles and allows quick installation.
“The idea for heer first came to us when we witnessed a mother being shamed for breastfeeding in a public place. We thought the solution must be in design”, said Ivana Preiss, the Design Strategy Director at 52Hours, a design and brand consultancy from Prague. Her partner and creative director Filip Vasic joined forces with Nikola Knezevic, an awarded industrial designer from Belgrade, to create heer as the first-of-its-kind breastfeeding bench.
Mothers’ initial reactions both to functionality and the daring design were extremely positive. The authors now see a big opportunity to market heer across the globe and look for potential clients and partners.
About the design studio:
Heer was launched by 52hours, a boutique design studio from Prague, led by Ivana Preiss and Filip Vasic. They worked together with Belgrade-based industrial designer Nikola Knezevic (nikoladesign.com) to turn their concept into a fully functional product. Apart from developing their own products, 52hours offers consulting and leadership in design, research, and marketing. They are currently engaged in digital transformation of a leading heavy materials producer.
Design Team: Filip Vasić – Creative Director, Nikola Knežević – Chief Industrial Designer, Ivana Preiss – Product Designer
Photos: Marija Gašparović
Year of production: 2018
Text provided by the authors of the project.