Environment Initiative

The underlying question in the vast majority of product design is that of material. A good product works, no, more than that, it performs with consistency, accountability, as close to effortlessly as possible. It is reliable, lasting, and that product had better be damn right beautiful. Its success is the result of so many threads. As mentioned before, Function, Lifespan, Aesthetic, and as well, Production Impact, Price Point, and the Aftermath. These are huge. Material drives absolutely all of these categories. It's not the sole driving factor but it's a big one. Maybe the biggest one.

That said, searching for the right material is a gigantic process with so many things to consider. For Karp, there are certain qualities that I need, that I want, and that I feel responsible to uphold. The hardest part is the feeling that no matter how little of an negative impact results, there is STILL a negative impact... whether in energy, fossil fuel, manufacturing costs, contributing to a chaotic monster consumer economy, water usage....the list is incredibly long.

More than just thoughts...


The direction of Karp is starting from the basic square tarp that is sewn into all the existing cord bags. This tarp is used for protecting the cord from the rocks and dirt on the ground, which compromise the integrity of the cord. The idea is to use this large blank material to it's highest potential and cut the need for all the other material and extra gadgets that are used in the bag. The tarp itself has the ability to do all that the bag does; it just takes the right system and clear informing to provide the user with the same convenience and more benefits, at a smaller cost.

Using Intuition

Using Intuition

Rope begs for certain interaction: this is why it is so good in it's implementation. It wants to be pulled, to be coiled. It requires repetition in it's use because of it's continuity and extensive, consistent qualities. It only makes sense to use this nature of cord to it and the user's benefit. Without any extra materials, products, or complicated directions, rope can be ordered and organized to fit in unison with a person's body for carrying purposes. This process of tying, winding, and organizing the rope into a compact entity makes it possible to carry it in the most natural and intuitive way. It also keeps the cord in great condition for lifespan and use by keeping it together and ready to use. It is so easy to end up in a frustrating situation with the amount of cord needed for climbing and trekking. All too easily it can be knotted and messy.

Basing a product around this capability of rope is a way to minimize the amount of extra things needed to contain it. It can cut material needs, provide and informative and instinctive behavior, and maintain a high level of order for increased ease in use.

Unexpected Surprises

These past few weeks have been consuming my mind with all the questions that when answered, will define my design for Karp. In doing background research, I have been inquiring as to the life span of climbing ropes in different environments. While the area of gym climbing requires different behavior and equipment, different care for the equipment, different amount of use and therefore lifespan, and different storage, I just can't resist Brooklyn Boulders. So I headed there and chatted with some of the guys that do route setting, the facilities manager, and the general manager, to find out about their ropes. It turns out that ropes have a very short life span in BKB, which isn't surprising if you go in there and see how it is constantly full of happy and hard working climbers and boulderers. This trip brought on a very cool ending. In discussing these dead ropes, I was led back to the route setters storage, where there were shelves stacked with 30 gallon storage bins. Many thanks to BKB, I now have a very new but related design problem to look at. With all these excess ropes, there are huge possibilities for upcycling!



Creat a system for cord storafe with

as little material as possible, using

recycled and upcycled means

where applicable.


Use visual language to imply structure

within interaction, keeping climbers

safe and keeping the cord in highest



Create a haven for the cord that protects

it from the elements, maximizing it’s lifespan.

Defining the problem

Defining the problem

Going forth

As one of the 7 designers within studio to summit of Pratt Institute, this is a page devoted to the documentation of research, ideation, testing, prototyping and proceeding growth of my project.

This project had been formed as a result of my own experiences with climbing, particularly as from our group's previous trip to Ecuador. More specifically, this project revolves around climbing rope and its storage, considering associated behaviors, interactions, uses, and devices.

The problem will be assessed with the following outline.

  • What does a system for cord storage and protection look like when it is designed in light of the intuitive nature of the cord?

  • What is a clear visual language that informs and directs the user in proper care and practice and how can it be incorporated into the storage system?

  • How can these both be achieved with priority placed on finding the most minimal solution as to reduce material and production methods, and at the same time increase the life span of the cord?