Carry On Week | Travelteq
To keep the ‘Carry On’ week vibe continuing, we’ve gone and chatted with three brands and their designers who we think cover a good range of carry on product. RIMOWA, who create hard case carry ons; QWSTION, who play with smart casual vibes, and Travelteq, who mix old and new worlds in Carry On luggage. This is the third of three interviews we conducted and is all about Travelteq.
Travelteq :: Michiel van Ogtrop
1/ Apart from weight and size, what are the other challenges that you have to be aware of when designing bags aimed at the Carry On market?
The suitcase is part of your style when traveling. Finding something timeless and a design that is unisex was a big challenge. In this particular case we also wanted extra features (seating/ sound etc) but we also wanted to hide those features when they were’nt in use, to give the suitcase the modest timeless look. This took a lot of design effort. Then of course as a suitcase is thrown around and really a product you USE! It has got to be strong.
2/ How do you find the balance between having all the features vs keeping it light?
This is one of the hardest challenges. The tendency is more and more only to make a suitcase light! For this a lot of functions are lost. We had to make a choice with this in the case of the Trip; if you get tired because it weighs more than an ordinary suitcase, you can always rest and take a seat!
3/ At what point do you stop using factory made generic components and start building/creating your own to get that advantage in weight and features?
As soon as we set our target to create a suitcase that transformed into a comfortable chair we knew we would have to make almost all of the components custom. In the beginning we wanted to use a generic telescopic handle. But even here we didn’t want to compromise on comfort when leaning against the telescopic tubes. So also here we made them customised with the right width and angle. We even handmade the rivits on the side of the suitcase from solid aluminum material!
4/ How much does the use of factory made generic components hinder your designs in terms of features, weight, overall design?
A lot. Many suitcases are made with standard components or even standard production techniques. This all gives suitcases that look alike. Because we used unconvential production techniques for a suitcase we were able to make a suitcase that completely looks different from other suitcases. We could however just as well designed a Pram. It would have been the same effort.
5/ Whats the most remarkable element in your Carry On model this season?
The comfortable seat. Our design target was to create a suitcase chair as good as a regular chair, in which we succeeded. If your flight our train is delayed… no problem
6/ Style vs fashion: do you update to hit current trends, or design something that is more timeless and just color it up each season?
Travelteq in general creates timeless products. With the Trip however we have chosen for a modular approach… the general structure remains intact but other items can be exchanged for other parts – wheels, side panels, seat, lining etc. With this we have the opportunity to create a new look and feel each year.
7/ Are carry on bags right now where you thought they would be when first started designing them? Or have they failed to progress? Why do you think this?
I consider carry on bags except for weight not very innovative. The Trip however will change that.