domenica 20 luglio 2014

Design: Super smart backpack boat

Thibault Penven says he was walking along the banks of Lake Geneva when he met a “passionate” fisherman. It inspired Penven’s graduation project at University of Art and Design Lausanne (ECAL). “I decided to design a boat,” the industrial design student remembers, “intended for use as a shuttle between the shore and a boat.” Penven’s boat is super-lightweight. And unlike traditional inflatable dinghies, Ar Vag assembles in minutes for Life Aquatic-style exploits. Ar Vag’s assembly sequence seems similar to a run-of-the-mill camping tent. The plastic sheet unfolds and a series of metal rods are strung along its edges to give it shape. The bench is what keeps the whole thing stable (“like a keystone,” explains Penven), acting as cross-bracing for the flimsy shell. When it’s completely folded up, the boat can be worn like a backpack. “The hull of the boat consists of a series of fiberglass sheets, covered with heat welded plastic tarpaulin,” Penven writes in a press release. Heat welding is a pretty common industrial fabrication technique, involving the use of a heat gun to create watertight seams between plastic pieces.The boat folds into a tiny square of material that can be worn as a backpack. Ar Vag isn’t meant for long adventures--rather, it’s a shuttle to take you from shore to a larger boat.

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