31 March 2017
According to American Express, in 2016, UK pet owners’ spending reached a record breaking £10billion. For most pet owners, spending so much comes from a desire to give pets the best life possible. Viewed as a treasured part of the family, it is important that they are comfortably integrated into the home. In February 2017, craft brewing company Brewdog, introduced a ‘Pawternity Leave’ programme, offering all workers one week paid leave to concentrate on welcoming their new dog into the family household. Seen as an equal, it’s important for product designers to consider the needs of pets as well as their owners.
Now acknowledging the high status of pets in our lives, there is a desire for pet furniture and accessories to reflect the same high standard we expect in our homes. No longer just a novelty, many designers are now exploring ways to combine function and style to allow pet furniture and products to fit seamlessly into the home.
The first cat themed furniture design exhibition, 9 Lives opened during this year’s Singapore Design Week. The unique design event features the work of 9 designers who have created furniture for cats in urban, compact living spaces. Both practical and aesthetically pleasing, the show aimed to inspire locals to think about how good design could benefit living conditions for both cats and their owners.
“As more Singaporeans adopt street cats and integrate them into their households, there is a growing demand for quality cat furniture.” – Tan Chin Chin, the artist behind 9 Lives.
Nendo Cubic Pet Goods
In 2016, Japanese studio Nendo launched a collection of accessories for dogs that were designed to look good inside minimally furnished homes. Identifying an opportunity to steer away from typically cute, round pet design, Nendo focused on products that were compatible with interior elements. The food bowl for instance comes in a similar shape to a plant pot also included in the collection, helping to blend the products with the surrounding space.
It is now important to enable pet owners to live with their furry companions without having to be denied good design. There is an opportunity for those working in the pet industry to respond to home and interior trends in order to create products that fit seamlessly into the home.
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