- Buyer's Guide
New Contributor | Taylor Welden
And the family grows…
Our hope for Carryology has always been to have a broad base of contributing Carryologists, from designers to retailers and core users. Today we welcome Taylor Welden to the fold, an Industrial Designer that has been designing bags for several years, many of which you may even own or have used.
We’ve asked Taylor to introduce himself, and talk a little about his love of carry. And there’s a few surprises in there…
Taylor: I’m a fulltime freelance Industrial Designer who focuses on the niche area of softgoods design and development. I’ve designed anything from amateur/professional photography bags, messenger bags for urbanites, military bags for the most extreme of situations, hiking packs to test the elements, cross-continent travel backpacks, and more.
My personal and professional life is surrounded by softgoods. I must be able to speak clearly and knowledgeably about them with clients – how they work, how they fit, where they’re made, how, out of what, where specific trouble areas may arise through specific manufacturing techniques, and much more. In other words, I’m paid to be an expert in the field.
But that’s cool, because I love packs, I love bags. They express an idea of absolute freedom, you can pack up, and go anywhere. I research softgoods, I test them, I stare at them in stores, I buy them, I think about buying them. And I don’t use them. Well, not often anyways…
The last time I used a pack, it was on a flight from Austin up to the Catskills this past July. I brought a WWII Swiss military canvas, leather, and aluminum backpack, which I may add is quite handsome. Could I have chosen a better, more suitable pack for this five-day trip? Probably. Did I want to? Absolutely not.
In my house I have packs on display, filled with random items I don’t use often. Sometimes they’re just filled with poly stuffing, similar to a hunter displaying their proudly taxidermied game.
The thought was brought up – is this a rebellion of sorts? Like a high paid luxury car mechanic driving an old rusted-out 70s clunker? Maybe its an overload? I know many a chef who refuses to eat what they cook all day long in their four/five-star restaurant’s kitchen… even going as far as to crave the worst of the fast food chains. For me, I don’t think it is either of these two options.
I suppose, its about carrying minimal, the absolute bare essentials. Other areas of my life can be reserved for excess. Carryology really focuses on this minimal aspect, so I thought it was worth bringing up. On me from day to day; a cell phone, spectacles (either normal or prescription sunglasses depending on the hour), a money clip containing 4 cards, and a carabiner key chain with 5 necessary keys. If I didn’t use all 5 daily, I would cut it down to 1 or 2 and keep them in my pocket. Everything fits into my jeans pockets (or clips onto) no bulk, no weight. Done. That’s it.
When I meet with a client, the same carryology system exists. Plus a few extras. A wood veneer folder containing sketch paper and paper deliverables, a slim USB hard drive with no power cord, a Moleskine, and a pen. All this can be carried in one hand, neatly. In fact, I like the look of the four visual elements together. What you see is what you get. All four items mean business.
Carrying a bag with my day to day is like bringing along a lead weight where I roam. What do you do with it when you get to a movie theatre, a bar, a restaurant, into a taxi filled with 3 other friends? The more pockets you have, the more you fill it with, the heavier it gets, the bigger it gets, the more important it is for you to keep track of your many personal belongings, including expensive technology.
When designing packs, if you specify extra room, the void will soon be gone. I’m a designer and dealer of the empty space. It is up to the user to fill the space allocated by the maximum dimensions that I provide to the factory. I design the shell, the protective casing, the organizing.
Though I am essentially obsessed with the multi-faceted elements of softgoods, I rarely use them. Only for necessary and specific requirements. That being said, I’ve never had an mp3 player or laptop stolen/broken while out on the town, and my back feels great.
So my questions to you, dear readers…
Does your bag ever feel like a ball and chain you’ve got to tag along with you wherever you go?
Do you fill your packs to the brim, because you can?
Do you want to give this minimalism thing a try?
Or am I crazy?”
Ed’s note: Check out Taylor’s folio at Coroflot.