Industrial design site Core77 runs incredible contests where designers are supposed to spend no more than an hour coming up with responses to a challenge; in this case it was to reinvent the backpack. Whenever they do these things I can never believe a) that they actually do it in a hour, and b) how talented the designers are.
I don't find Guntar's winning entry, shown above, to be that interesting, it appears to be a backpack version of a garment bag. The judges thought "This was not only a great concept, but a great presentation as well. We like how the functionality was well thought out, considering the needs of the everyday student. The fabric swatches were a great touch--it gave us a lot of ideas on how else the bag could look and feel. Critique: We'd like to know how long this really took him..." [Ouch!]
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Talk about a mobile office! My personal favourite is Pinkygrl02's reversible backpack/frontpack that folds out so that you can work on the bus, even while standing and waiting for the bus. No doubt Meaghan and Graham are ordering them up by the dozen to squeeze a few more posts out of us.
"Digital is the mainstream in school and work. Assignments, communcation, and education is largely done through the use of computers and internet. This rugged carrier is for those who constantly use their laptop on the go- not just in a stationary setting. Although it can hold traditional work/school materials, it's main feature is it's laptop integration system. By placing your laptop into the hard and durable folding receptical, it is protected and easily accesible on a moments notice- even when wearing the backpack itself!
Great for public transportation users- on the sidewalk, at the stop, or on the bus. Wear it on the front of your chest, connect the straps behind your back for support, and fold down the receptical, transforming it into a laptop table. No need to set down your backpack to pull out your laptop, then struggle to shove it back into the bag with your when the bus arrives or you get to class."
Nour Malaeb's modular bag lets you "carry only what you need, when you need it, and how you need to carry it. It consists of a bunch of components of different capacities and functions that have industrial strength velcro on most of their surface. The user fills the components with what they need, and then assembles a bag out of only the components they need."
-and it makes that wonderful velcro sound.
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Surprisingly, few made any pretense of being green, and there wasn't a single solar backpack in the bunch. But so much talent, so many beautiful illustrations. See them all at ::Core77
Other one-hour design competitions on TreeHugger:
Core77 One Hour Design Challenge eBook Winner
Core77's One Hour Design Competition: Water-Saving in the Bathroom ...
Design For A Better Bike Lock