• JULY 2013 // THE DESIGN FILES - Australia

     http://thedesignfiles.net/2013/07/such-great-heights-wonder-tents/





    We don’t make a habit of covering too many kids things around here, but sometimes we stumble across a new idea that's just too cute and clever to keep to ourselves! These ‘Wonder Tents‘ by Adelaide based design studio Such Great Heights are one such recent discovery.  A refreshing new contender in the ‘hipster childrens’ teepee’ arena!

    Such Great Heights is run by husband and wife team Ryan O’Connor & Jo Fahy, and is based out of their family home, in Adelaide.  With combined backgrounds in film and TV, paediatric physiotherapy, and fashion design, it was the birth of their two daughters which originally inspired Ryan and Jo to start Such Great Heights. After a couple of years in development, their debut kids product range was launched mid last year – a friendly little collection of sweet, sturdy play tents, dress up capes and merit badges.

     'In 2008 our proudest achievements came in the form of our daughters, Grace, and two years later Daisy’ explains Jo. ’Parenthood thrust us into the world of mass produced plastic toys. We found that so many are one-dimensional in their functionality and are not built to last beyond their second change of batteries. Rather than inspire creativity, they dictate play. So we set out to design and manufacture a small children’s product range of beautiful items that encourage rich, imaginary play. We also wanted to create a design aesthetic that adults would appreciate and would gladly welcome into their homes!’

     Each Wonder Tent range is handcrafted locally using Australian hardwood and organic cotton canvas. I particularly love Ryan and Jo’s inspired choice of vintage-style fabrics, which really give these tents their unique personality, and an umistakable sense of nostalgia.  There’s a style to suit every child and every bedroom – from the boy-scout inspired ‘Khaki’ (complete with custom merit badges which can be ordered separately), to ‘Grand Hearts’ and ‘Floral Bomb’ – for the girliest of slumber parties!  INGENIOUSLY, Ryan and Jo have also created a simple conversion kit which turns these solid little structures into the sweetest childrens’ clothing rack when not in use.

     The very first run of Wonder Tents was made entirely by Ryan and Jo from their home studio, with Ryan shaping the timber uprights, and Jo at the sewing machine. Twelve months on, this industrious pair are now collaborating with local machinists and makers to produce their product range.  Prices start from $279.00. (Clothes rack conversion kits are priced at an additional $45.00).

     Do check out Such Great Heights’ website and blog for a look at the full Wonder Tents range, and a few more inspired product ideas for imaginative kids!