Zara Dramov / California College of the Arts
Average Person in the Workplace
Simple, clean, and well resolved, the VEE Bag feels like a professional product design. Send us four please!
This product is a reusable modern bag with style and elegance.
It is a highly versatile, highly functional and highly durable bag that serves a wide array of specific purposes. It is designed to be carried over the arm, and it folds, tucking away in your pocket conveniently for various purposes, such as bike transportation. It can then be expanded for shopping, toting lunches or picnics, conveying goods of any size, and for safely holding paper products, glass and liquid.
Paper and plastic grocery bags are increasingly recognized as environmentally unsustainable. As a result, there has been a proliferation of cloth bags for carrying goods from one’s store to one’s home or place of work. On the one hand, these bags are light and convenient, as they stuff into a small sack. On the other, they are not sturdy, providing little protection and insulation for the goods being transported. This can work well for certain things, but not others.
The challenge that I took on in this project was to design a bag that would serve the eco-conscious nomadic lifestyle. I attempted to encompass the cradle to grave philosophy, which speaks to the repurposing of materials. The bag would need to be as compact and versatile as the typical stuff-it bags on the market now; but it also would need to have greater capacity and capability, thus creating a more attractive alternative to the resource-depleting use of plastic and paper products. The VEE bag is a light and foldable bag that is insulated and can be easily transformed into multiple configurations to fit various types of activities. These features make it an excellent lunch box and shopping bag.3. The Intent: What point of view did you bring to the project, and were there additional criteria that you added to the brief?
The approach that has been taken in shopping is that of “one size fits all.” The intent here is to create a product that perfects the utility, meaning and style of the bag to better fit the person on the go, to better serve a greater variety of purposes, to help fulfill a more healthy lifestyle and to integrate environmental values.4. The Process: Describe the rigor that informed your project. (Research, ethnography, subject matter experts, materials exploration, technology, iteration, testing, etc., as applicable.) What stakeholder interests did you consider? (Audience, business, organization, labor, manufacturing, distribution, etc., as applicable)
1. Interviews with Stakeholders. These included several days of research at various times of the day at local stores and markets, with questions posed to shoppers and “baggers” at the check-out investigating what they like and dislike about their bag; if they use it for just one task or many; in what areas their bag falls short of what they want it to do best; how they would improve it to make it better.
2. Workplace Interviews. This included several days of interviews and photo documentation of individuals at an office that examined what they eat for lunch, how they bring it with them, how their nutritional needs are being met and, principally, how to make it better.
3. Definition of the Problem. The results of the interviews were summarized and, from this, emerged the need to create a more capable bag; one that was sturdier, more attractive, and multi-faceted enough to serve the client’s unmet needs and unfulfilled expectations.
4. Experimentation and Exploration. Alternative approaches to the look, feel and configuration of the bag were studied in sketch form. Materials were investigated that would give greater durability while simultaneously remaining light weight and recyclable. Simplicity of materials and methods were explored in a reductive sense–could the bag be designed without a zipper, without a snap, without any superfluous add-ons yet still be able to transform in different ways. Consideration was given to how one would hold the bag, how its shape would collapse, and how to allow it to accommodate various forms, including big, small, fitted, or loose.
5. Design Development. From this research, analysis and exploration, a bag was designed that would utilize folding to provide structural integrity, to create compartmentalization, to provide for size shifting, as it can be packed away for easy storage. The folding was defined by plates of padded/insulated material, with stitching that reinforces the shape and the design. Numerous models were built to specifically study how the pad would be made integral with the bag, how the stitching would work and how the product would ultimately look.
6. Testing and Refinement. Finally, after the product itself was tested, it was brought back to the stakeholders, shoppers, baggers, and office workers to see what their input might be. Revisions were made as a result of the input received.5. The Value: How does your project earn its keep in the world? What is its value? What is its impact? (Social, educational, economic, paradigm-shifting, sustainable, environmental, cultural, gladdening, etc.)
The value of this product lies in taking the all-purpose reusable and recyclable bag to the next level to have it better meet the diverse needs of the user. By creating a versatile and attractive bag that can be worn on a bike, on foot, in a car and which can be made small, large and fitted or loose, this product offers a more sustainable and environmentally responsible alternative that fosters an easier and healthier modern lifestyle.