I'm always a fan of good DIY design, but Lukas Scherrer, the mastermind behind the San Francisco industrial design firm Shibuleru, has taken it to a new level. Check out this incredible bassinet he designed for his new daughter and created with the help of his wife. Never one to accept what's off the shelf, Scherrer has devised a hardy nest for his little one, and considering the bassinet's specifications and construction, it might just outlive her. Watch the slideshow and read along as he takes us through the process.
"A newborn comes with one difficult issue: a baby needs some things. Not many but some. Like a place to sleep. Now, there are pretty much only ill-designed and manufactured goods for babies out there and that is frustrating. So I decided to design and make a place to sleep for the little one myself, like many others have probably done before me. Thinking of a bassinet, there are a couple was of doing it. It can be cut from a solid hunk of something (wood, aluminum etc.) or put together from individual pieces. It should also be warm and comfortable without looking cute (that is what the baby is here for). Then there are baskets: Baskets are difficult because they might end up looking Biblical or feel like Mowgli was given away in it. But there can also be something light and elegant about the design."
"We designed the Bassinet so it has a warm, yet precise and technical feel. The craft should be visible but not in your face, it shouldn't look self/home made with some random little errors and imprecisions because that would accumulate and become very annoying over time. Designing it was easy. We opted for a race track shape with a bit of draft angle so the main volume looks inviting from the outside but open to the world from the baby's perspective. The bottom was designed for a standard Ecobaby (green and healthy) mattress."
"The construction follows the main form and is made from a frame that is the base for a weave. I thought of the following when selecting materials: The frame needs to be durable and long lasting to stay true to the argument above. The weave needs to feel precise and technical not woodsy or 'put together'. This meant climbing rope or racing boat lines."
"We found a race car shop that can handle stainless steel really well. They welded up the base perfectly. Then we found a company that makes custom ropes (if the order quantity is right). There are many ways to weave the jacket of the rope and endless colors. We learned a lot about ropes, and ended with a static 5mm custom line that is light and durable. The base color is black with two gold tracer lines. From afar, the color looks black with a warm shine as the tracer lines are perfectly distributed across the woven surface."
"We calculated that we need at least 1,600 feet of rope for the weave and our calculation was pretty precise. Once we had the frame and rope, it took us four days to weave that thing. Starting with the base, we zig-zagged from one side to the other and wrapped the full roll of rope around the frame every time to ensure no stainless steel is visible at the end. Sometimes, a lot of pull was required to keep the pattern even so we used carabiners to keep things tight or loose, depending on what was needed."
"The frame material and welding cost around $450; custom rope around $600; Ecobaby mattress another $200-300. Not exactly cost efficient but divided by 100 years (it will last at least this long) not too bad. But if divided by the actual use time, well, that's a different story. But people seem to have no issue spending money for their babies."