How design students would use our folding brackets in vans
Our engineers and sales reps have always been convinced of the idea that the folding brackets Rakego and Robust can be applied merely everywhere, and thus add value to a room, corner or space. To prove that thesis, ROCA Industry started a collaboration with Konstfack - University of Arts, Crafts and Design - in Stockholm. Here's how it went!
Konstfack is an internationally known, Stockholm-based school for creative talents within art, craft and design. Many famous artists and industrial designers have learned their basic knowledge at Konstfack. ROCA Industry approached the university at the end of September and the student's proposals were presented at the end of November.
Altogether, five industrial design students received the assignment from lecturer Jonas Ahnme to work according to the theme "Innovative Foldable Applications” and aim for design proposals situated here and now. The students were supposed to investigate how the folding brackets can be used in different contexts, and also explore other types of foldable constructions.
At the end of the module, they were expected to present one proposal where folding brackets from ROCA Industry are used. We wanted them to choose one of the following contexts after the initial research phase;
- foldable solutions for deforestation machines
- foldable solutions for a motorhome
- foldable solutions for an indoor office
One key aspect was to investigate and apply aspects of circular design in the design proposals. When framing their area of focus they had to consider and relate to sustainability frameworks and social sustainability (design for sustainable behavior, labor).
Other key concepts were: Choice of materials, design for disassembly, design for repair.
After conceptualization, each group had to produce different prototypes that explore various possibilities for folding solutions and iterate and refine those prototypes.
Last but not least, in the design process the students also worked with branding and applied that to the proposal.
Rail system for Robust XL
Group 1 consisted of Gustav Sturk and Nikola Despotovic. Interestingly, Gustav had worked in the field of indoor design for caravans before, and maybe because of that experience the two young men decided to create a foldable solution for a motorhome.
The goal of group 1's project was to enable further adjustment of the living space in caravans. For this, they created a rail system that Robust XL bracket can be attached to and be lowered and raised. With the adjustable rail, a folding sofa back could be transformed into a bunk bed. In addition to this, it would also be possible to implement in raising and lowering tables, storage, chairs, and much more.
Group 1 also took the time to design a couch that would be a perfect example of how the rail could be used in combination with the brackets.
"Not only is it a couch - but it can also turn into a bunk bed, or a double bed, depending on what suits the situation. This isn’t only for convenience, it saves space - good for families with smaller children - and it weighs less, which is good for the environment", say Gustav and Nikola.
The multifunctional couch
Gustav and Nikola were very concerned about safety questions since spaces like motorhomes and caravans often are used by families and you want to avoid small children getting hurt just because they happen to press a button or release it accidentally. So group 1 even presented an extra safety break to their construction.
The product prototype
Magnus Eriksson, COO at ROCA Industry says: "I am deeply impressed. This is a brilliant example of how design and function can work in symbiosis. When the students presented their ideas I almost got mad at myself that I hadn't come up with it earlier."
Foldable seating area with Rakego as centerpiece
Group 2 consisted of Happy Ahlström, Philip Ståhlbrand and Linn Hammarberg. Even this group decided to create a construction for a van. Here's how they briefed themselves: "With aesthetics, durability and function in mind, and with the help of brackets from ROCA Industry, develop a seating area to be used on the outside of a van".
Note the word "outside" - group 2 was thrilled by the thought that a vehicle like a van has rather large outside walls which offer the possibility to attach items permanently.
The materials they chose for that had to be "natural and honest" with low environmental impact so their choice was aluminum and pinewood.
"Aluminium is durable, lightweight and versatile and has the advantage that 95 % of it can be is recycled. Recycled aluminum requires only 5 % of the energy used to make virgin aluminum. Pinewood is water resilient and relatively cheap. It grows fast and is locally sourced", say Happy, Philip and Linn.
Final proposal: A foldable seating area intended to be used on the outside of a van
The ROCA foldable bracket used for this proposal is a Rakego in black. It is attached at the back of the construction in order to keep the weight and hold the sitting person in a safe position. The folding mechanism enables a quick and easy release.
Pinewood and aluminum in combination
The product prototype
Comment from Magnus Eriksson, COO at ROCA Industry: "I like the idea how the students use every aspect of a vehicle, not just the interior. Group 2 presented a smart system that solves many tasks without taking up space. And just as the case with group 1, it is very impressive that they got from idea to prototype in just six weeks."
As the students showed us, our brackets have application areas that have not been explored, yet. Of course, if the ideas will be pursued in the future, they have to be tested over and over again.
We are very grateful for the inspiration and impressed by the quick process from the first meeting to a prototype. A big thank you to the students of Konstfack and their lecturer Jonas Ahnme!