This is the final piece made in a class on bent lamination and bent plywood techniques, taught by Lothar Windels.
For this project I was interested in exploring ergonomics and user experience to create a piece that could eventually operate as a product. I was interested in using the form of the backpack for this ergonomic study, as it is a familiar object in my life that is centered on use and comfort. My goal was to create a beautiful and functional piece that would incorporate itself into my daily life. On the basis of time, I used myself as the model for ergonomic development.
I started off the process by exploring different comfortable forms. Through foam and cardboard modeling I honed in on the ergonomic plywood structure and the outer plywood shell. The difficulties mostly lay in keeping the plywood back away from the spine, and the edges and corners away form the user’s back, with lack of three-dimensionality in the bends. I designed the outer shell based on both aesthetics and maximizing interior space. From there I began to work out a pattern for the fabric construction that would allow me to sew the fabric and plywood together in a structural way.
It turned out to be more comfortable than I imagined!
Full scale mock-up