Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Origami-inspired Kasa

Sure, the air umbrella is cool and all....but how would it function in windy conditions?  And when the battery runs out after 15-30 minutes?

Enter a kickstarter campaign for a new invention, inspired by the origami umbrella:


Justin Nagelberg feels your pain. His new umbrella, the Sa, totally shakes up the umbrella's tired design. To put the project in motion, Nagelberg teamed up with Matthew Waldman, founder of the New York design lab Nooka, whom he met at a design conference in Tokyo a few years ago. Pledges to help fund the project have reached nearly $60,000 on Kickstarter, almost twice the original goal.
"I kind of felt like the normal umbrella structure was so complicated and so ugly," Nagelberg says. "I wanted to update that for the modern era."

It's just like "sewing machines or devices that were built like a hundred years ago and we haven't really modernized them yet," he adds.

The Sa completely shakes up the umbrella's centuries-old design. Based on origami, the Sa has inner and outer canopies that expand and retract in unison. The inner canopy replaces the inner metal skeleton, making the umbrella lighter and allowing for more headroom.

The umbrella is made out of waterproof plastic and is flexible enough that it will bounce back in high winds.

 "It's really durable because of the truncated hexagon shape," Nagelberg says. "It works somewhat like a pyramid. The planes also stop the structure from expanding beyond its fully open size. This is exceptionally strong when wind comes from underneath the umbrella, making it really hard, if not impossible, to blow inside out."


 Because of the origami inspiration, the name "Sa" comes from three Japanese words: "kasa," which means umbrella, "same," which is a word for rain, and "sasu," which is the verb used to describe holding an umbrella.


 The Sa will be launched in March 2015 and will cost $69, Nagelberg says. If they reach $100,000 on Kickstarter, he would like to start work on a simpler, compact version that would cost around $20.

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