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Junior Meets... The man who made the Bugaboo Donkey

Adaptable for solo or multiple riders, the Bugaboo Donkey is a masterpiece of innovation. Here Aernout Dijkstra-Hellinga, Donkey designer and father-of-two, shares his inspirations and insights

Posted: 27 September 2013
by Helen McKay-Ferguson

Aernout Dijkstra-Hellinga
The Bugaboo Donkey

Among the first passengers to try the Bugaboo Donkey were my children Yasmijn, three, and Lard, one. They helped me to perfect the design.

We live just outside Amsterdam in a small town called Apeldoorn. It’s a very green place with lots of parks. Our home is just next to the canal which is pleasant to stroll along.

Laid-back, happy and...searching. That’s how I’d describe my family life. My wife, Anna Sophia, is also a designer and we’re still searching for the right balance. Both of us works four days a week – she has Wednesdays off and I have Fridays off. The children go to daycare three days. It works quite well but both my wife and I have to travel a lot for work so it can be hard.

I think you have to share the burden equally. My wife and I do the same kind of things in our household.

Philippe Starck is an inspiration to me. I don’t always like his designs but he can always talk about them very nicely. And of course I’m very inspired by Bugaboo founder, Max Barenbrug.

I really like racing bikes. At the moment, our children travel on the backs of our bikes. I can’t wait until we can all go cycling together as a family.

A self-watering flower pot. That's one of my favourite household objects. It's by Danish brand Eva Solo who do very cool, simple and useful objects. There’s a basic white pot on top and a semi-transparent pot beneath with threads down into the water. The plant can just take what it wants. I also have this nice Eva Solo bird house.

Yellow with black velvet, silver, gold and purple. Every room in our house has different coloured wallpaper by American-Indian designer Karim Rashid. I like variety and colour!

I have far too many bags at home. When I see a nice bag, I just buy it.

Did you know... The Bugaboo Donkey was Shortlisted for Best Buggy Design in the Junior Design Awards 2012 and won the award for Most Innovative Product in 2011. 

Read more Junior Q&As...

From quizzing top fashion designers for the inside scoop to grilling celebrities for their childrenswear style tips and meeting some of the most influential authors, illustrators and craftspeopleJunior Meets... has got all of your burning questions covered. Don't miss our chats with interviewees including Tommy Hilfiger and Dolce and Gabbana, to Quentin BlakeDonna Wilson and, everyone's favourite fashionable frog, Kermit.

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