ECAL + QWSTION: These Student Prototypes Will Blow Your Mind
QWSTION gear honors a worthy set of values. Simplicity. Functionality. Minimalist, timeless design. And always questioning existing norms throughout the creative process. So strong is QWSTION’s commitment to questioning norms that it led to a joint project between the brand and students from Switzerland’s renowned art and design university ECAL, based in Lausanne. Teams of students from the MA Product Design programme were challenged to explore new ways of using the CottonShell® material used in QWSTION’s Raincoat, while saluting the brand’s values. The material has so far only been used in QWSTION’s clothing, and offers a unique construction that makes it water resistant without the use of any coating.
The project was led by Swiss designer and QWSTION’s Creative Director, Christian Paul Kaegi. Ten prototypes will be on display during an exhibition at the QWSTION Store in Zurich. The exhibition will run from 8 March to 7 April 2018, with an opening event featuring the design students and professors from ECAL as well as Christian Paul Kaegi. But if you can’t make the opening event in person, don’t worry. Discover the prototypes in all their innovative glory below…
Big Fold – Jakob Reuter and Chelsea Park
Worried about being caught in unexpected rain showers? The Big Fold has you covered – literally – with a clever backpack design featuring an integrated rain poncho. The design makes great use of CottonShell® fabric’s water resistance, breathability and rigidness to create two functional pieces in one. The poncho can be unfolded without having to take the bag off, and folds up neatly again on the back of the pack when not required. The poncho and pack share the same pockets which can be accessed in both modes, and opting for a poncho over a raincoat allows for one-size-fits-all rain protection. The 12L backpack provides ample space for carrying daily essentials, without the need to pack an umbrella or weatherproof outer layer.
Day Camera Bag – Yesul Jang and Kohei Kojima
Aimed at the casual photographer, the Day Camera Bag provides low-key style that blends well into a range of urban environments. Avoiding the distinct “camera bag” look that many photography bags have, this bag helps protect your expensive gear from unwanted attention while also keeping it safe from the elements with weatherproof CottonShell® fabric. The bag is ideal for carrying a DSLR, with a double-sided zipper and a cross-body strap for easy access to the contents. Natural cotton and felt padding along with weatherproof seams provide additional protection for your gear
Dot Dot Dot – Thomas Missé & Alexandre Picciotto
Taking inspiration from bubble wrap, the Dot Dot Dot is a simple and versatile rolltop backpack designed to protect your gear against the elements as well as day-to-day bumps and scrapes. The pack is crafted with a single piece of weatherproof CottonShell® fabric and four pieces of natural merino felt for interior padding. The base features a natural latex coating for added abrasion resistance.
Dual Bag – Margherita Banchi and Tae Man Park
The Dual Bag is a stylish and practical bag for those who want all-in-one work and gym carry. The top part of the bag features two compartments to organize work and EDC items, while the bottom part is designed to store shoes and other workout items. In addition, the bottom part can be detached, allowing the user to carry less or more as needed. The bag also expresses duality through the use of contrasting materials, featuring a combination of CottonShell® fabric and Italian leather. The use of minimal seams allows the CottonShell® fabric to adjust to a range of loads.
Four By Three – Ignacio Merino and Oscar Estrada
Your choice of luggage often restricts your travel options, but the Four By Three Backpack is designed to give you maximum travel flexibility and adaptability. The modular design features three components that cater to a diverse range of urban travel needs. The components can be used separately or together, making it easy to adapt to shorter or longer trips, while also allowing you to transport all your gear to your accommodation and then explore with just the essentials in tow. The bags are secured together using their own straps, which also allow you to compress the contents for a more compact load. The CottonShell® fabric is both weatherproof and comfortable to use on the go, with understated aesthetics that look right at home in urban settings.
Lola Bag – Eva Maria Beer and Jana Marlene Lippert
The Lola Bag is inspired by female urban travelers who want an adaptable bag that can handle a variety of carry loads and environments. The bag is designed to serve as both a casual tote and stylish purse, and features a pleated CottonShell® exterior that can increase or decrease in volume as needed. The fabric is complemented by leather for added load-bearing strength and stability.
Umbrella and Rain Shoe Cover – Mu Hau Kao and Youjung Jeong
This project puts a focus on sustainable rain protection by creating an umbrella with minimal parts that can be easily recycled or repaired. The umbrella is crafted with a combination of CottonShell® fabric, spring steel from a photography reflector and aluminum. Additional weather protection is provided by the rain shoe cover, a compact and easily portable cover that fits a range of shoe sizes and features the spring steel folding mechanism of slap bracelets to wrap around the ankles. When not in use, the cover rolls up into a form compact enough to fit inside a pocket.
Traveller Scarf – Sebastian Maluska and Catarina Pacheco
Budget air travel often involves severe restrictions on what you can carry on board a plane. However, the Traveller Scarf is designed to lend a helping hand by combining a functional and useful clothing item with integrated pockets for storing a range of travel and EDC essentials. The pockets are designed to be discreet in order to reduce bulk, and add to the visual elements of the scarf. The scarf combines CottonShell® fabric and Austrian loden wool for weather resistance, warmth and comfort in a design that works equally well for travel or day-to-day use.
WIREFRAME Series – Miji Noh and Byongseon Bae
The WIREFRAME Series features four pieces including a shopper bag, messenger bag, long wallet and coin bag. The series celebrates simple, functional minimalism in versatile designs that can move from day to night and store a range of EDC or travel essentials. Crafted with CottonShell® fabric, leather cords and seam sealing tapes, the series offers a thoughtful blend of practicality and timeless style.