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It all started with a problem: 

I want a small bag for daily use, but I also need a bigger bag for bigger stuff.

Sketches & ideation

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I wanted the backpack to have an expandable design so it could be configured for different kinds of activities that demand different loads. For the materials, I chose soft canvas in bright blue and light grey with navy binding tape and dark grey jacket zippers. For structure, I chose an extra firm stabilizer to line the backpack.


 

Prototyping

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I decided the backpack should be made of canvas panels lined with stabilizer to retain a boxy shape. I used my camera case as the basis for the backpack dimensions. I also experimented with a "V" shaped opening which proved to be a challenge.












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Pattern Layout

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Making Process

Here's the body of the backpack fully laid out in close and expanded configurations.

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The "V" shaped opening was the biggest challenge because of the precision needed to have it fit seam-to-seam with the body of the backpack. It took 5 tries over 4 hours to get sewed on. 

 

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Finished Product

Since I based the backpack's dimensions on my camera case, it fits in snuggly along with an iPad mini and ample room for jacket when not expanded. 

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The highlight of the bag is the expandability. 
Unzip the mid-zip to reveal 5 more inches of space. Now it packs enough for trips 2-3 days long.

When expanded, there's a discreet slit on the side where you can access the inside of the backpack for small items such as gloves or a wallet. 

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The bottom is made of an inch thick piece of upholstery foam wrapped in black canvas for toughness to protect the contents inside when setting the backpack down. It was handsewn onto the body.

Real World Testing

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I had the perfect opportunity to put my backpack to the test when I flew home for winter break. I packed it full and brought it with me. It proved to be very comfortable when worn on the back. The straps can also be wrapped around the handles of a suitcase to be wheeled around.

The boxy shape allowed it to fit nicely under the seat and in the overhead compartment. The flat bottom made it easy to set the backpack down on any surface without worry. It kept my camera gear safe even when tossed around by TSA.

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This was the final project of my Junior year fall semester Industrial Design Soft Goods Special Topic Class taught by Prof. Leslie Fontana.