Thesis work started!

So now I have a sponsoring company, as well as a well defined project for my final thesis project! An infant carrier for Haglöfs! I’ve started to do a lot of the research, including tons of background reading on ergonomics, infant development, parenting, as well as looking on the internet to see what products exist today, and for inspiration in general.

It’s a bit ironic that my first design project – a homework assignment submitted to Umeå as part of my entrance application – was a backpack, and that my final projectwork as a design student will also be a type of backpack =)

But looking around the net, I stumbled upon a really fantastic website obsessed with all things backpacks, Carryology. I’ve been looking for a great looking and practical backpack for some time, and have bemoaned the lack of selection and design. I want a nice looking, comfortable backpack to carry all the things I need everyday, such as my 15.6″ laptop (which gets quite heavy after some time on my back, let alone if I were to use a messenger bag), that could carry enough things for an overnight trip, and look stylish and fit my everyday style. Most backpacks look too much like a hiking bag.

I had a second interview with Volvo Cars a few days ago (want the job so bad! Fingers crossed that I make it onto the 3rd and final round!!)… Anyway, I needed to go to an evening recruiting event, stay overnight in Gothenberg, and go to an interview the next morning. I didn’t have many bags to choose from that would be large enough to carry my overnight necessities (without being too large) and professional looking (or at least not like I was going hiking). Now I found this bag from Cote et Ciel, which I am in love with, and thinking about buying:

Cote et ciel rucksack

Reminds me of origami! Love the Japanese aesthetic, and simple lines. Undecided if I want it in grey, black, or tan.The lighter colours show off the form really well, but black goes with everything.

The other bag I’m considering is from Mission Workshop. I love that it is waterproof and expandable (so practical!), and would work really great for when I travel, but it looks a little on the big side and maybe overwhelming on my small frame.

Mission Workshop Rambler

I also like this bag from InCase, but apparently it’s not in stores yet… And perhaps it is a little on the small side to be used for travelling.

InCase backpack

When I think about the number of times I have thought, “I wish they made better looking camera bags!” “Backpacks!” “Laptop bags!” And all other types of practical bags. I don’t know why it never occurred to me to go into soft goods design, considering the amount of time I have spent and spend travelling, as well as my interest in design and fashion! It makes a lot of sense… something to think about if Volvo Cars doesn’t pan out.

Some days I feel worried and a bit stressed that I can’t/won’t be able to think of a great idea or design for my final thesis project… Don’t want to let down Haglöfs (or my own hopes for myself). But I feel a little inspired after seeing great backpack designs online, and maybe I need to scale back my hopes to solve all the problems of the world / imaginable / of parents everywhere, and concentrate on making a beautiful and functional product.

The other night, Per and I watched “Modets offer” on SVT, a German produced documentary translated into Swedish about how the fashion industry is exposing people to hazardous chemicals used during the production of textiles. Of course there is no easy solution, unless we start growing and producing our own textiles and clothing under conditions where we can enforce the production methods (and pay accordingly and suitably). I have really believed in buying only quality footwear, because they last longer, are breathable, more comfortable, and look better. I think that producing, selling and buying cheap shoes made of leather are a waste of really good material. Though the documentary found that even expensive shoes could have traces of banned, hazardous chemicals, I think that consuming less, but better quality items is a step in the right direction. Cheaply produced clothing is also a waste of resources and puts workers’ health in developing nations at risk. I don’t shop for clothing very often – especially compared to the average woman – but the documentary definitely makes me rethink my consumption habits.

 

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One thought on “Thesis work started!

  1. Hi there!

    I came across this website while browsing through pictures of the Cote & Ciel backpack (the so-called origami). It’s a shame that you don’t see these too often as the design of this is way ahead of any other backpack I have ever seen, so if it was my choice then I would get this in a light grey shade!

    Hope your dreams of becoming a designer is going well (I’m also trying to follow this path at the moment). Buying this bag I’m sure will give you additional inspiration and motivation!

    J

    P.S – I don’t work for Cote & Ciel in case you think I’m trying to endorse the product! 🙂

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