Kind + Jugend is asking ... an interview with Yaara Nusboim, winner of the Kids Design Award 2019
Yaara Nusboim was chosen the shining winner of the Kids Design Award 2019. - © Koelnmesse
The Kids Design Award is an essential part of Kind + Jugend and gets a lot of attention every year. In 2019, 65 young designers from 25 countries worldwide applied with their ideas for the prestigious prize. The young Israelian designer Yaara Nusboim from the Shenkar College of Engineering and Design was chosen the shining winner with her product "Alma – Therapy Dolls". This series of therapeutic toys for children suffering from emotional difficulties follows the play therapy method, according to which children are able to heal themselves under the right conditions. In an interview with Kind + Jugend, she tells what has happened since winning the award.
In 2019 you won the Kids Design Award with your "Alma Therapy Dolls". What is special about this product? What distinguishes it?
I think what sets the project apart is that it is designed especially for children with emotional difficulties - the fact that the project has a deeper meaning, and that it addresses a need that wasn't being met at the time in the therapeutic and general fields. The combination of these factors with the abstract design, natural materials, textures and colors that I use allow the children to express their thoughts and feelings through the dolls.
What inspired you to "Alma"?
The biggest inspiration for “Alma” were the children at the children's home I volunteered a few years ago. While working with them, I was exposed to the tremendous pain and problems these children were experiencing, and they inspired me to design a product that could help lessen their pain.
What has changed for you since you won the award? Did Kind + Jugend effectuated new and interesting contacts for you?
So many exciting things have happened since then! The competition itself and the following exhibition allowed me to meet many marketers, buyers and individuals who were interested in the product. About a hundred articles were published all over the world about my winning project. Later on, I also participated in another competition called "Design That Educates Awards” - I won the first place in the product design category. The positive feedback I received made me realize that I need to start selling the product. At the moment, I am working on the production of the dolls, and I hope that they will be on the market in October 2020.
"Alma - Therapy Dolls" help children suffering from emotional difficulties. - © Yaara Nusboim
What do you think makes good design? Which aspects do you especially pay attention to?
I think a good design is an inclusive design that is user focused, meaning it involves the user’s perspective in the design process. I also believe that a great design has a meaningful purpose. When I look at a product, the aspects I notice are the colors, textures and types of materials that are used. I think a good design is a design that effectively combines these three aspects, in simple forms.
Would you like to stay in the field of children's design? Do you already have other product ideas?
Of course! Besides the production of the dolls, I am now working on designing a new product that emphasizes the child's sensory experience. There are many children with sensory difficulties, and the project focuses on toys that can help them with these difficulties, while combining experiential and fun play.
Although Kind + Jugend 2020 is suspended this year due to the Corona Pandemic, the Kids Design Award will still be awarded. We keep you updated – follow our Website and Social Media channels for more information!