Marvin Reber’s only just finished his design and visual arts’ degree at Unitec but he’s already the darling of overseas design blogs. The 35-year-old Auckland resident was featured on Dezeen and several other sites recently, thanks to his Inclusion couch. The piece isn’t even in production yet but its ingenious design, which allows it to have all sorts of configurations and uses for adults and children, was enough to pique international interest.
“The idea came from watching my daughter navigate her way around the furniture we have at home,” says Reber, who created the piece in 14 weeks, while in the final year of his degree. “Our ‘grown-up’ furniture didn’t seem to be designed with little people in mind, while her furniture was just miniature versions of our stuff. I noticed the role of some items changed depending on who was using it; for example, her little wooden stool made an excellent step ladder for me. I thought about the concept of inclusive design, whereby a single item of furniture could support the different sets of requirements that adults and children have.
Expect the Inclusion to be for sale – eventually: “I need to spend a bit more time refining the manufacturing details in order for [the couch] to be production ready at an affordable price,” says the father of two, who is setting up his own studio. “I have plans for this to happen, as well as one-seater and two-seater versions.”