Un/Limited is a fully waterproof and size adjustable backpack tailored to the needs of an urban slow cyclist.
This project aims to demonstrate the unlimited and limited requirements of space and material through a daily backpack. It can both expand to accommodate unexpected items and compress to keep the backpack streamlined to allow for better mobility.
Following the design philosophy for 'design of reduction', the backpack is made of mono-material DuPont Hytrel, which is a series of recyclable thermoplastic elastomers with different levels of hardness. This is in stark contrast to the backpacks on the market today, which are multi-material and hard to recycle.
Plastics that improve with age.
Designing products that are meant to last is the most sustainable thing an industrial designer can do, short of not designing anything at all. Considering how humans build relationships with objects can allow us to create products that will remain relevant to their use for longer. Beyond functionality, a product that shows signs of its story and relationship with its owner can establish a stronger emotional connection with that object.
The object is to design a product, with DuPont material, that is sustainable and creates a genuine bond with the user. An object that improves with age and counters some of the negative attributes often attributed to plastics such as cheap, transient and unemotional. Considering the longevity of a solution but also its place in a circular economy. What is its service life, how can it be reused, recycled or repurposed when (and if) it does come to the end of its useful life?
Un/Limited provides cyclists space depends on their needs. However, for the limitation of a bike, cyclists should not be a greedy user. They have to ensure the load they carry can keep their journey comfortable, not an obstacle. The title of this project reflects the balance/interaction between cyclists and their freedom of bringing as much as they can or as less as they can.