Nikolai: We were on a family holiday, camped out on a beach for a week. Every night, this local boy and his granddad would walk up and down the sand with their kite, just absolutely loving it. It sparked our own memories of that real analogue fun. Being newish parents at the time, we wanted to instill that same thing in our kids, so the idea for Lofty sparked from there.
Jo: We only wanted to do it if we could tread really lightly, though.
Nikolai: Absolutely. Being a product designer [at Città], you have a responsibility for what you put out into the world. So when we set our design parameters, sustainability was a key factor. Quality was another – and it had to be easy to use. The test was: “Can our two-year-old fly it?” No matter how intricate or beautiful a design is, if you can’t get it flying, there’s no point.
Jo: The handle is plywood, the string is cotton, the material itself is recycled PET plastic, and the poles are resin. Because we never want to see our kites in landfill, we can replace or repair any parts. We chose muted tones that didn’t scream “kite!” and little pictures that were cute, whimsical and a bit cheeky.
Nikolai: Jo hand-drew them all. She doesn’t have an artistic background [Jo trained in spatial design] but was just like, “I’ll give it a crack”, and did an amazing job.
Jo: Yeah, but now that people are asking for more intricate designs — like birds — I think it’s time to outsource!
Nikolai: When it comes to flying, the key is consistent wind. Too gusty, and they’ll nosedive; not enough wind, and you’re running. The beach is the best spot, definitely.