Adensen has not produced multifunctional furniture throughout its history. It all started with the ordinary furniture that has survived until now under the “Classic” furniture series name. Heiki Must, founder of Adensen and author of the Adensen Smart Furniture Set (formerly known as the Smart Kid), talks about how Adensen came to the production of multifunctional children’s furniture that is not found anywhere else.
Heiki, maybe you’ll talk about yourself a little …
I am a proud father of six children and now a multiple grandfather. As a child living and growing up in a schoolhouse, I had free access to the school’s woodwork shop, my father was a teacher of work education, and from there came my first knowledge and skills. Although I was an electrician in Tallinn, I have been making furniture for more than half my life. It started when I moved from Tallinn to Southern Estonia, where I became a forest ranger. From there, knowledge of the forest – I can appreciate it. At the beginning of the Estonian era I privatized a furniture factory that made cribs. This was the beginning of furniture production, which is still going on.
Why Children’s Furniture?
The fact that the privatized furniture factory was already producing cribs and I was fascinated by the creation of children’s furniture has led me to the furniture. At that time, there were 3 children in my family who were definitely contributing more to this interest.
How did Adensen Smart get started?
After surviving a severe accident that left me in a wheelchair, there was a desire to do something new. However, I wanted to continue producing children’s furniture, which by that time had become very close to my heart. Having been making cribs for a long time, I began to notice that cribs have extremely short lifespan. Children grow up so quickly that the need for a cradle and diaper is quickly overcome. Time flies and the scrub will no longer fit in, and a desk will soon be needed. This also gave rise to the original idea of producing something that would last longer.
Having repeatedly faced this problem, I wanted to extend the life of children’s furniture to reduce overproduction and, on the other hand, to do something new and interesting to make the lives of parents more comfortable. And as I pondered my thoughts, an idea came to my mind, which I immediately drew on paper. The first paper version of Adensen Smart did not have so many features at all, but with each passing day I was still thinking how to use different elements to put together a new feature.
How does the current Adensen Smart differ from the first version?
The first sketch in my head was bumpy, but nonetheless I made the first prototype of a sawdust and then saw how many features could actually be added to it. The original prototype had a crib and a dresser, which was flanked by a flipper. And then the idea came about how to make the crib and chest of drawers a future desk. This is how the first version of Adensen Smart was made in 2009, which was MDF and pine. Unfortunately, the MDF was not very durable and the pine wood was big and heavy. He then switched to birch and plywood. It was more reminiscent of the current Adensen Smart furniture set. It has come a long way to this moment and the Adensen Smart furniture set has been repeatedly upgraded to make it more durable, functional and safe for the baby.
Picture of a previous version of Adensen Smart
How was Adensen Smart adopted in the furniture market?
When I first sold the Adensen Smart (at that time it was called Smart Kid) furniture set, I was unexpectedly successful and people were very interested in the furniture set I created. We were invited to many different fairs and events where we could be out with the product. In 2010, Adensen Smart was also nominated for the Bruno Design Award.
Thanks to its wide coverage, Adensen Smart spread very quickly and people’s feedback and suggestions gave me more willingness to pursue it. However, due to unexpectedly confusing circumstances with my business partners, I was forced to discontinue production at that time in 2013, and therefore Adensen Smart disappeared from the market.
But after that, I did not stop working with Adensen Smart and for many years I continued to develop the product with the desire to start a new company from scratch. At the beginning of 2017, after a long period of preparation and a whole new level of product development, we came back with a bigger plan and an even better product to make extensive changes in children’s furniture production.
What are the future plans?
The plans are great. We are also gradually operating outside Estonia to bring the values of the product to more people. Let’s just say that we’re coming up with an even longer-lasting solution for Adensen Smart than Adensen Smart is at the moment, but I’m not going to talk about that yet.
More generally, we have a couple of new multifunctional products in the workshops that we are planning to launch in the near future. I truly believe that multifunctional furniture is the future that allows us to be more environmentally friendly on the one hand and a comfortable and financially smart solution on the other.