Wear it, and you may risk being mistaken for a fanboy or possibly a (cranio)pod person. Neither is particularly desirable or socially advantageous—after all, you end up cutting a figure quite similar to a clarinet-playing and unfortunately cleavaged Bith. But the Ostrich Pillow, which met with incredible success upon its Kickstarter launch last year, is designed expressly for intense repose and introspection, to the point of blinding you to your immediate surroundings. Block out others, and you block out their ridicule, too.
A new, pint-sized edition now makes the Ostrich experience available to children, a throwback to kindergarten naptime and innocent Halloween costumes of yore.
Until recently, the product was exclusively marketed for adults. Grownups in need of an escape, either sleep-deprived and gradually wasting away in front of their desktop screen or simply waiting for a flight to board, could bury their heads in the helmet-pillow and catch some quick shuteye.
For kids, there are arguably more moments in life open to the Ostrich experience. Shaped like a plush, cushioned scaphandre, the pillow is a portable sleeping device that little ones can easily slip on whenever the urge for a catnap strikes. A front opening prevents asphyxiation; holes on either side draw heat away from the interior and double as hand receptacles. Conspicuously missing are eye cutouts, the deletion amplifying the pillow’s amniotic appearance.
The features between the two models are identical, though the kid version sports a large mouth and nose hole for improved respiration. The design homology was intentional, says architecture and design studio Kawamura-Ganjavian. The firm conceived of the pillow as a way for designers, colleagues, and all-around busybodies to get some "sleep on the go." They collaborated with Studio Banana to realize the prototype, which was released on Kickstarter in September 2012, ultimately racking up $200,000 in support and sales.
The Ostrich Pillow Junior was an answer to the pleas of the project’s first customers. "Our fans were posting pictures of their children wearing the Ostrich Pillow," the Kawamura-Ganjavian office tells Co.Design. "Of course the design does not lend itself to be used by a child, so we created a version which is inspired by the original ... however, the opening for the mouth is rather larger, which enables most of the child’s face to be exposed whilst feeling cocooned, cozy, and seriously comfortable."
The designers were surprised when much of the first wave of satisfied Ostrich owners later bought additional pillows for friends and family. "Our nappers love the Ostrich Pillow," they say, adding that they petitioned the designers for the kiddie version. The update, which comes in two sleepy flavors (Berry Snooze and Dreamy Waves), just made good business sense.
The development also points the way for future and possibly more zoological iterations. The goal, according to Kawamura-Ganjavian, is to combine aspects of fun and function "into simple everyday actions," one endearing beanbag critter at a time.