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Mamas & Papas Armadillo Q&A - Best lightweight buggy design 2014 - HIGHLY COMMENDED

We meet the product development director behind the 2014 Junior Design Award highly commended entry




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What is your name and job title?

Amanda Scacchetti, Product Development Director

Can you tell us a little about the buggy you have entered into the awards, and why you think it is award winning?

The Armadillo City has been designed to beat traditional buggies hands down in terms of its innovative features for time poor parents who live busy lives.  Its super compact and lightweight at just 7kg, whilst still offering baby lots of wriggle room and a fully reclining seat.  The City’s smart functionality is all about one handed use - as the other hand is often occupied by baby. It can easily be pushed as well as opened and folded one handed - in fact it takes just 3 seconds to fold, that’s twice as fast as any other traditional lightweight buggy out there.  Not only is the fold fast, it’s also simple - making it easier for grandparents as well as parents. Our unique easy-fold technology helps you to pack your Armadillo City into a compact shape that is easy to store away. We tested a lot of buggies to see how practical and compact they were but found they didn’t really deliver. We worked hard to make the Armadillo City easy to store - it fits in the boots of all family cars and even that of a Fiat 500 - with room left over for shopping!  And, we mustn’t forget the large easy access shopping basket to store and carry parenting essentials - its 35% bigger than the rest.  In terms of look, its painted back leg, on trend colour story and colour infused chest pads make it stand out from the crowd in any big city.

Why do you think it stands out among the plethora of parenting buggies available?

Armadillo City stands out from the plethora of buggies available as it is the only one out there that truly makes life simpler for parents, grandparents and carers due to its design as you will see from my responses below.

Where do you source design inspiration?

Mamas & Papas know what it’s like starting a family, because we are one. We’ve been a family business since the beginning. In fact, David and Lusia the cofounders were expecting their first baby, when they created Mamas & Papas all those years ago.

Today, both daughters Amanda and Olivia play a big part in the family business, with each bringing the expertise that comes from having their own children. This, along with a wealth of knowledge from the Mums and Dads that are part of their teams is where we get inspiration for our products.  Everything we do is designed by parents for parents because we’re family.

We also work closely with parents and children who aren’t part of the Mamas & Papas family during every stage to make sure the products we design are as simple to operate as possible. To give you an example, that’s why the folding system can be deployed in 3 seconds on the City, with only one hand. Every parent has tried to fold a pushchair away while a bus is approaching, only to end up missing it. The Armadillo City is specifically designed to help relieve these city living pressures, through simple inspirations, turned into design innovations that help make parenting easier. We know parents will love the Armadillo City because we’ve worked so closely with them. It really was designed by parents, for parents

We also send the Mamas & Papas in-house design team on a mission – to find the very latest design inspiration for our products. Each one of these worldwide inspiration trips has a simple challenge – hunt down the little touches that make the biggest difference. We then use their creative discoveries to design something completely unique. From the latest fabrics and specially commissioned illustrations to bespoke chassis finishes and totally unexpected touches of flair, each one gives a taste of what design trends are exciting us the most from around the world.  Because choosing a pushchair is such a special moment, this is our way of making our pushchairs even more special and pleasurable for parents who love design as much as we do.

What do you think are the hallmarks of outstanding design in the wonderful world of buggies? 

When you become a parent, your world changes in two ways. Firstly, you are desperate to cling onto part of what you were before having kids. Having kids shouldn’t mean that you can’t be yourself afterwards, so the pushchair has become almost an extension of you. Your favourite handbag is put onto its shelf to gather dust for a number of months, whilst your pushchair becomes what you carry/push around instead. Becoming a representation of who you are, what you believe in and your sense of style.

Secondly, for new parents, the word practicality is taken to a whole new level. Parents are time poor, whilst before you had yourself only to think about, once you have kids this gorgeous but demanding little being completely takes over, and therefore your time management goes out the window. That’s why really practical products are so important. For me, great product design is not design for designs sake, it solves a problem for parents and makes their lives easier, so therefore, for any good product, style and practicality are, or should be, equals.

What kind of adventures would you imagine the parent owners of your buggy going on?

Perfect for all urban dwellers, Armadillo City is designed for the parent-about-town which, let’s face it, is most of us. Sometimes the last thing we want to do is navigate heaving buses or trudge through bustling city streets, but a good stroller can help make the experience much easier to manage, especially if there’s a clear line to the nearest café!  The Armadillo City lets you squeeze into crowded subways and busy cafes, and go everywhere you did before you had baby.  

Why did you enter your product into the Junior Design Awards?

We believe the Armadillo City ticks all the boxes for great design and we hope you do to; it would be wonderful to have a Junior Design accolade listed against this product.

What is the parenting product you wish you had designed?

Cybex platinum range - Aton Q, Sirona and Solution Q Fix.  As a mum of two I need to know my kids are as safe as possible and the statistics around road traffic accidents are truly frightening, partly because 54% of car seats are fitted incorrectly.  This range of car seats has been designed to have the very best safety innovations for a newborn right through to 12 years whilst delivering an iconic look.  I believe that safety really meets design with these products offering parents an aesthetic fusion of safety and functionality with sophisticated ergonomics and on trend, vibrant and interesting colours.

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