This product concept is a part of a system, one that strives to bring paddlers together to inspire new members to join in the activity of kayaking. I was initially inspired by imagery I found in my research of hundreds of kayaks protesting arctic oil drilling in the waters near Seattle. Imagine being able to join, or build, that community feeling without the need for civil disobedience?
This is where the ‘Pelago Platform can fit in. It is a product that can manifest itself in bringing a community together but also act as a stand alone expansion of a paddler’s experience.
This project for Product Design 2 was really exciting, as it was not only a team effort, but also collaborative and sponsored by Autodesk and Oru Kayak. The team chose the name Whalebone as an homage to the materials used in the early era of kayaking when the Inuit of the North used natural materials like wood and whalebones to construct their vessels. We thought it apt to pay this respect as it is not only a look back at the sport’s heritage, but also an innovative view forward, as Oru Kayak has done regarding their choice of materials like coroplast.
The design process I ascribed to this project can be reviewed here in the linked PDF file that describes a lot of the steps taken, and will be taken and expanded on while further development of the project unfolds: