Main Project Inspirations: The YaYa by Levi Caffes

For my main project, I want to design a backpack. I have always been fascinated with backpacks and have come up short searching for the perfect one. I am convinced that there’s no such thing as a perfect backpack. Especially if you factor in strength of materials, light weight, cost, comfort, accessibility, and aesthetics. I am not trying to create the perfect backpack for everyone, but one that fits my needs.

The main inspiration for the form of my backpack is the Baegyangsa Temple in Jangseong County, South Korea (Photo below).  This is the head temple of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism [1]. I found this inspiration while watching an episode of Chef’s Table that featured Jeong Kwan, a temple chef and Buddhist monk who lives in this temple. What I find most interesting about this temple are the roofs to each of buildings. I love the curvature of the roof’s corners and the tapering of the top. I want to use these shapes in the design of my backpack.

Baegyangsa Temple Building [2]

I plan to design a roll top style back pack that uses the same roof curvature shape at the top of the pack when it is rolled closed. The main body of the backpack will taper downward, but like the top of the temple roofs. I think the the tapering of backpack will help make the pack look like a natural extension of the human body.

Because I am a modernist at heart, I want to use a minimal color palate and features. The color palate will only consist of 3 colors, max; grey, black, and one flash (bright) color. The materials I plan to use were inspired by the backpacks I already own. Woven nylon with ripstop grid pattern for extra durability and a polyurethane coating on one side for water repellency.

Below are the backpacks I am drawing inspiration from for both aesthetics and functionality.

Ivan by Chrome

Above is the backpack that I use everyday. Its a huge, I think almost 26L, bag is very durable, totally waterproof, and comfortable even when its filled to the brim. This particular size fits my body pretty well and I don’t think it looks awkward when packed full. The biggest draw back is that it is pretty heavy due to the truck tarp liner it uses for waterproofing. I love the aesthetic of this backpack, particularly when it is rolled closed

Flash 18 by REI

The Flash 18 is a great pack that I bring camping and on hikes. I like the bottom of this bag, as it curls up from the bottom and limits the boxy/tubular form when its full. I don’t like how narrow it is though, because it sticks out awkwardly from the back.

Evil Mini by Road Runner Bags [3]
While doing research, I cam across Road Runner Bags’ Evil Mini. It is a ~22L bag that is just one big pocket. I like the width of this bag as it would fit my broader shoulders, but I wish it tapered more towards the bottom. The top of the bag curves kind of like how I want mine to, but I think it is mainly from the compression strap. I want the curvature of my bag to be built in to the structure instead of it being a after-thought feature.






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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Luke Woolley
    March 6, 2017 8:37 am

    Even though you want a more shapely pack, you could separate the internal structure into the main center compartment and two side ones, like a rectangle with two right triangles in it that give the overall shape a trapezoidal geometry. What do you plan to do for the textile work? I know you’ve gotten samples and have a few sources for that sort of thing, but are you handy with a sewing machine? I know I am not!

    How are you going to achieve the upward curve of the “roof” portion? Just rely on center compression from the closure strap, making the ends flare up? Or do you think you’ll have some structure in that area, like plastic strips around the hem of some bags?

  • Tori Herfert
    March 1, 2017 1:26 pm

    I think it is very interesting that you want to make a backpack. The backpack you currently use seems large for most people to use as a school backpack, but it is aesthetically pleasing and can probably hold a lot of books! I would recommend for this looking into something that has a lot of useful pockets, because I find that my backpack now has some good pockets and some pockets that I have nothing to use for.


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