Research, Design & Production

Design Air Furniture

Designing inflatable furniture for the high-end event market.

R&D for the Smart Air collection at Blofield

Undergraduate Thesis

The Hague University of Applied Sciences

Design Case

Blofield, a Dutch design brand, Isn´t just an ordinary furniture company. Quite the contrary. The company uncommonly focusses on inflatable designs. With already several collections inhouse at the time, the company was expanding with a new collection. This new collection made use from a new extraordinary sturdy inflatable material which facilitates new design possibilities for the air furniture. The lounge chair, seen in the picture, was the first product of the new collection.


The company was looking for ways to use the new material to produce a table for the collection. In my time at Blofield, I led the first exploration to a producible product.


Design Process

Blofield is quite a unique company; with uncommon products, different B2B and B2C markets, and international operations while still being a fairly small company. It’s no wonder that a lot of stakeholders are involved with the project. Having a good understanding of the context is important before the real designing can start. Market research and user interviews were conducted to get a better understanding of the project, which helped with placing it in a relevant framing.

As an internal Research and Development intern, I was responsible for the development of the new addition to the new collection. During this project, I applied most skills and knowledge that I acquired during my bachelor. A classical Product Design approach was applied — diverging to many possible ideas and concepts, which later got converted to one final producible product.


Designing for a new product line may seem like a straightforward assignment, but the unique material and amount of freedom within the company made it possible to explore a wide variety of options. Ideation primarily looked at interesting ways to use the material. Exciting and innovative designs are encouraged, but the designs have to be functional in ways that would benefit all important stakeholders.


Creative ideas can look great on paper, but real-life is not as forgiving as your imagination. In the conceptualization-phase, it is essential to make small prototypes that confirm your assumptions. You don’t want to get into trouble in later stages of the design process. For this same reason, it is important to pay attention to general functioning and details of the design — how will it work and how can it be produced. Small flaws might be disastrous later one. 


Finally, on last crucial aspect that makes sure that that you end up with realistic concepts are the numbers. Estimations of the cost and value help you and clients with evaluating the concepts more accurately. In business it’s especially important that the concepts don’t only look good, but also are economically viable.

3 concepts


Now it is time to really get real. You know what you want and what has to be done. It’s time to put the best concept to the test and shape your idea into a real-life product. The approach might vary from project to project, but starting with simple prototypes never is a bad idea. Several prototyping rounds help with discovering the imperfections as quickly as possible.


Bringing the first ideas to life doesn’t have to be difficult. Quick prototyping methods can be used to get a first impression of a new product concept. All you need is cardboard and a few markers and in no time you’ll have a life-size mock-up. A mock-up helps with seeing the product in the actual context. 

Functional Prototype

After you feel confident enough that the direction you’re heading towards feels right for the product you’re developing, then it is time to invest in a functional prototype. This makes it possible to experience the product and to look for important points of improvement. Make sure that you preserve the aspects make the product great. There is no use in removing difficulties when it makes for a dull product.

Product Proposal

As a designer, no project ever feels like it is truly done. It can be hard to say goodbye to something that has been a part of you for so long. However, after multiple revisions and improvements, a balanced and production-ready product should be the result. And then it is time to let your project free in the real world. Just as I did when completing the project with a producible sidetable that has interchangeable inserts that make the product great for any occasion.

Bachelor? Check.

With the end of this project came the end of my bachelor’s program. Bachelor degree in the pocket.

On to the next challenge!

Want to know more?

Contact me!

I would love to tell you more about the details and results.