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Braun Prize 2012 - Kaenguru

Känguru – Mobility Concept for the Urban Context with Infant

Oliver Klein Global Gold Award: Professionals & Enthusiasts


“Känguru” is a baby carrier and bicycle seat in one. It is a bi-functional solution that offers an ergonomic and safe way to get around by bicycle as well as on foot with your child. Analogous to the kangaroo, there are two modes of movement available.

First, “small steps” is used for short distances, offering the highest degree of flexibility on foot. Second, “big steps” is used for longer distances, quick, economic and earth friendly travel by bicycle. “Känguru” offers a fluent transition from bicycle to walking, and vice versa, thus simplifying mobility with children in the urban environment and providing a high level of flexibility and new options in range extension.
The creative goal is to be an independent design that arises from application requirements, developing a unique visual statement. The functional aim focuses on ergonomic and safety requirements and, foremost, on creating a fluent transition from one transportation mode to another.
The framework is the centerpiece of the design. Bearing safety, stability and ergonomic consideration in mind, it was developed to meet all requirements for both locomotion modes, permitting the child to remain in the carrier at all times, even when asleep. The core part of the frame was carefully elaborated in terms of statics and aesthetics. Numerous anatomical studies lead to an innovative, ergonomic carrying-system for the carrier mode.

A distinct bicycle rack was developed, permitting a quick and safe mounting for the bicycle mode. “Känguru” can be disassembled easily and without requiring tools, permitting cleaning and exchange of single components, extending the lifecycle and reducing the ecological footprint and costs. The architecture of the frame follows the example of the hollow bone structure of birds, combining light-weight and maximum stability. This can be realized via rapid prototyping, implementing the results of force path calculation and even producing custom made dimensions and sizes.

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Finding of the jury

The jurors were positive about “känguru”. They felt it was like having two devices at once that can be used as two different carriers in two different situations and in two different locations. The jury observed that this doesn’t interrupt the flow of the task at hand. It becomes one experience instead of two different tasks such as going somewhere by bike and then going shopping.
They pointed out that the main success of this product is its use of material. The hard and soft elements are combined in a very simple way between the support material and the material that touches the carrying body and the baby’s body. Jurors felt that a lot of thought was put into the material and the way it works, like a living, flexible material
  Oliver Klein

Oliver Klein

1996 – 1998 Apprenticeship as cabinet maker,
wood workshop Holzlust, Schweich, Germany
1998 Working as cabinet maker, wood workshop Holzlust, Schweich, Germany
2001 – 2008 Studies Industrial Design, Weißensee School of Art, Berlin, Germany
2004 – 2012 Creative director & project management footwear concepts,
Lieblingsschuh, Berlin, Germany
2008 – 2009 Exhibition designer, archimedes-solutions, Berlin, Germany
Since 2008 Design studio Oliver Klein, Berlin, Germany