Marcel Botha: I want to design products that can be used by everyone

In this interview Marcel Botha explains how he made his “Spuni” baby spoon, which aims to eliminate the mess babies make when they eat.

Anybody who has ever fed a baby can attest to how messy it can be. South African born product designer Marcel Botha, who is now based in New York, experienced this one day while he was feeding a friend's young child.

What's a designer to do, he wondered? He realised that conventional baby spoons simply aren't ergonomically suited to the feeding needs of babies.

I wanted to design a spoon that eliminates the negative response to a spoon and solves the messiness, says Botha.

Botha set about redressing the issue and countless iterations and prototypes later came up with the Spuni! Spuni is an ergonomically sound infant feeding spoon that helps babies eat solid food with less mess. 

Botha's approach was to make the spoon smaller, meaning less food on the spoon at once and thus less less, as most of the food would be able to fit into the child's mouth. The Spuni's design triggers a latching response from the baby and allows the food to be sucked off the spoon and swallowed in one motion.

Botha developed 30 different variations, with version seven is currently in production. “Spuni” is made in silver, wood and thermoplastic.

An innovative process is used in manufacturing the spoon. It reveals a brightly coloured solid inner and clear outer shell in order to appear as though it is floating in space.

The “Spuni” is designed to be relevant and scalable, not only commercially but with its usability for markets up and down the pyramid.