This was one of the most ambitious projects to date. While soft goods has always been a realm that I have been interested in, I have never had the chance to really sink my teeth into the process. This was a bag that was intended for skateboarders to carry their everyday carry goods in. Keeping them safe from theft and also out of the users pockets.
For this bag I had decided to make a hip pack, something that was becoming a popular revival of the 90’s inspired fanny packs. This was the ideal bag for a skateboarder to pack their daily goods in. A backpack alway felt bulky and cumbersome. Not only was the sling pack small, it also fit tight across the torso maximizing mobility during a session.
Quickly after sketching concepts for the bag I knew that it needed another level of function other than just carrying one’s goods. I felt that if the bag could carry a skateboard it would stand out amongst the other hip packs that have become popular. Many backpacks already existed to carry skateboards however they all had a specific aesthetic that limited them. I found this to be the perfect place for my hip pack to come into play.
By strapping the pack around your existing backpack, it has the capability to secure a skateboard to a backpack for travel situations. Not only do you have extra storage in the pack, you also have the full function of the backpack as well.
This project was extremely ambitious because I had to teach myself how to design patterns, prototype them, learn to sew, and then translate all that to a manufacturer. After many late nights at the sewing machine I was able to build a working prototype, and from there I brought my pattern to a local seamstress. I talked with them and was able to have a production prototype made.
During my senior year at the University of Illinois at Chicago I was required to work on a thesis project to cap off my experience in design school. While deciding what I wanted to work on I was prompted with the question "What are you passionate about?". Immediately my mind went to snowboarding. With 15 years of riding experience I thought it was time to approach my passion from a new angle: design.
My idea was to design and produce snowboards by hand that I could go and test out in the mountains of Colorado. These boards were designed to make the rider approach snowboarding from a new perspective. After watching the Olympics I became frustrated with the way snowboarding is portrayed as progression over everything. Even those who had the most style were outscored by those who spun the most rotations.
I then decided that it wasn't about tricks and that it was more about being with friends and having a good time. After an Olympic winter I felt it was crucial that people see snowboarding for what it really is: fun.
After three months and many long nights in the shop I found myself on top of Loveland Pass strapping into a piece of plywood I hoped would get me down the mountain. Made without edges, CNCs, or a pneumatic press my concepts proved their potential run after run. While one of them had cracked under impact they all survived the full run.
These will not be the last snowboards I make. After my experience of riding something I made with my hands I hope to one day produce boards at a much higher quality. Until then, its back to the drawing board.
Senior Thesis: Snowboards
Slope was a project I ran my first Kickstarter to produce. It was definitely a crucial part of my education as it forced me to learn the ins and outs of producing products for the masses.
The journey was not an easy one and was filled with many bumps along the way. I had to produce over a dozen different prototypes before I had the product you see today. I was determined to make this a rack that could be mobile as well as free standing. I found that most solutions out on the market are made to live on the wall leaving users with a permanent placement of their board. I also wanted to incorporate a way for the rack to catch the melting snow that drips off a board after a good day on the slopes.
Slope is made right here in Chicago and I hand finish each of the pieces myself. Keeping parts of the process under my own eyes was important to me since I love to make the things I design. Although my hands are not capable of bending and cutting 3/16" Aluminum they are capable of sand blasting and finishing said Aluminum. Even the rubber catch tray is hand made by me.
FoamLite was born through extensive material exploration and a few lucky mistakes. Each light is made by hand by a process I have developed and mastered over time. Due to the handmade nature of the production process no two lights are the same.
Foamlite provides a soothing ambient light that fills every angle of the room.
Roll Table is a portable table made for an on the go lifestyle. Suitable for wine and jazz in the park, or enjoying hot dogs by the fire. Use Roll Table anywhere you need a surface on the go!
The tung and groove joints accompanied by rope are what make this table possible. You make it functional.
Tilt is a stand used to preserve a rose in memory of an important event. This is inspired by my mothers tradition of saving rose petals she has received from loved ones. I felt that there were a lot of ways to present roses when they are alive, but none to cherish them for any time after they begin to die. Place a rose on Tilt and let the flower dry over time.