Quartz visited the New York City offices of BARK to speak with the creative lead Mikkel Holm Jensen about what goes into designing toys for dogs. Jensen, an industrial designer who had previously worked at LEGO’s Future Lab likened making toys for children to making toys for canines.
Designing toys, designing experiences for dogs and their people, Ithink it’s very similar to designing for kids. One of the things I loved especially at LEGO is taking the kids seriously and I think the same thing goes for the dogs. … We pick up their poop. Like it is silly so we can’t be that serious.
Jensen went on to talk about the things they do take seriously, the design of the toy for the enjoyment of both dog and human, the safety of the toy and the appropriateness of the toy, although one big exception has been made with their best selling toy ever – “The Dognald“.
Sometimes we’ve had human characters as the thing that the dog would bite into and I think they’ve been not as fun as we thought it gonna be, It wasn’t seen as appropriate for the dog to kind of chew up the vet. …It just blew up. We saw two groups of people buying it; one ‘I’m a big Donald Trump fan. I want my dog to be part of this as well’, the other one ‘I’m really not into Donald Trump I want my dog to bite into this character’.