FONTYS ILS TOP, 20: SEIL BAG
The SEIL bag from Lee Myung Su Design Lab from Seoul was selected by Elmay Claassen, amongst others, as an inspiring ‘user product’. It won the prestigious Red Dot Design Award in 2010 so they weren’t the only ones. What the design lab says: ‘Usually bicycle riders use pouch or backpack to carry wallet, mobile phone and water bottle. Bicycles riders’ backpack is a must-hace item for outdoor activities. LED and flexible PCB applied Seil Bag is bicycle riders’ backpack for safe riding. When a rider using hand-signal, the rider is riding bicycle with one hand. It can lead to an accident. But this product provides safer and simpler control for bicycle riders. Seil Bag is designed to show left and right turn signals. Simply, controlling the detachable wireless controller enables various signals such as directional signals, energy signal.
It’s obvious that trendwatchers and Coolhunters can use the wide range of prices, awards and official encouragements that are distributed worldwide during their search to find the rich ‘germs’ that are developing in society. The inspiring stories that tell us more about what is happening, and while being awarded show that others see the future growth potential too.
For this backpack it is clear that the ‘ease up my life’-factors are Cool amongst youngsters. What Elmay also states is that ‘it’s a show off on the streets’. True: the combination of functional safety and the clear and original way of communicating with your fellow traffickers is what the other Coolhunters also selected for this one example. That, plus the possibility to communicate with symbols (emoticons) that enhances the fun-factor. This bag embodies that what designers often call ’ the emotional drive’: humans (in this case road users) want to show how they feel, communicate by what they wear, use, do. Cool design often is about the right balance between function and fun. We saw that for #21, the Speck Candy Shell Card, and here too.
As a trendwatcher you can try to document what certain groups see as something ‘functional’ versus the attractive and inspiring ‘fun’. The right combination nearly always has future growth potential.
With our Coolhunters we keep doing research on different research groups. Sometimes those are generations (from baby boomers to computergamekids) sometimes on gender (from metrosexuality, androginity, cool masculinities and cool feminities) and also on groups that define themselves by the lives they live. Their lifestyle. For example the ‘Urban Nomads’ we’ve been writing about for a while now. We asked our students to coolhunt on examples that would add something to the live of this Urban Nomad. What would they want to buy? What would they wear? Eat? What helps their flexibility when it comes to mobility? Etc. This backpack is a very practical example that adds to the life of the ‘always on the go’, ‘connected 24/7/365’ ‘in for instant gratification’ Urban Nomad. Of course this one example doesn’t define a group. It’s could be the start of a research on mobility, for what more (by cultural triangulation empowered) examples should be found. Together they will form a collage of the (consume-)behavior and underlying mentality of one lifestyle-group.