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Phoresy Pack, a customizable backpack by vosq design team

03 / 06 / 2018

Phoresy Pack is the outcome of our explorations in the field of customizable and generative product design. It embodies the idea that the objects we surround ourselves with leave a distinct mark reciprocally, and that with time the user contributes to the appearance of his/her possessions as much as their initial designer, yet in a different fashion. With this project we aimed to take the idea to a new level and create a design that would be by default formed around its user.

The outcome of this project is not just a backpack, but a system for its creation. The displayed prototype was built to demonstrate the feasibility of this manufacturing and distribution system of mass-produced, yet custom tailored bags. Each Phoresy Pack is unique as it is created by the user through a simple online interface wrapped around a generative design platform. Apart from offering control over some purely aesthetic parameters, the software lets the customer choose the backpack's shape, volume, strapping type and the overall positioning of the Pack on the body. This ensures that every Phoresy Pack fits its wearer in terms of style, function and ergonomics. 

'What allows this level of configurability is the unique material which is at the core of Phoresy Pack’s structure. In this sense we made use of a technique that I’ve developed based on CNC milled full grain cowhide leather folded into a triangular crease pattern deriving from a study of expandable structures. From the inside, the leather shell is also covered with lycra textile which adds softness and elasticity to the backpack and makes it more adjustable to the volume of its contents and the wearer’s body. The rest of the bag is manufactured from thinner wet-formed leather in pieces layered over cork inserts.'

The design of the product is generated on a digital representation of the user's body. The representation can be obtained via 3D scanning or through the input of several parameters like gender, height and body type. 

The project is named after a term taken from the field of zoology to emphasize the way the backpack relates to the user. By definition “Phoresy” is a non-parasitic relationship between two organisms in which one species is carried around by another.

Phoresy pack is a live project that has undergone several phases of its development. Right now vosq design team is testing new manufacturing techniques and prototyping different iterations of the product with the goal of optimising the manufacturing process and eventually bringing Phoresy Pack to the market one day.

Follow the Phoresy Pack Development vlog here.

Vosq, who won the second prize at the One Day Design Challenge in Russia 2017 for their adjustable bathroom named Sporul, is a product design team sharing a single approach and working principles. The team is made up of Nikita Kolyadin, Nicolaj Yudin, and Stepan Pyanykh, all graduates from The British Higher School of Art and Design in Moscow. Today vosq studio experts specializes in bringing internationally acclaimed methodologies of product development into the still emerging market of product design in Russia. 

Other projects developed by them are Sagano, eco-friendly furniture and bamboo veneer lamps. Initially, this had begun as a student project, but has now participated in several exhibitions, and has already entered the Russian and European markets. Items like a coffee table, an armchair, a set of lamps and a frame for a mirror are available in the series now. Black+Decker AC100 is a compact action camera specifically designed for the use in workshop conditions:

Spark-, vibration- and dust-proof.