I am a bit of a materials geek. I love hearing about new materials, but recently I was in the Nobel Museum in Stockholm and was able to look back at all the materials that we use every day and find ubiquitous, yet were incredible scientific breakthroughs of human creativity.
From an industrial design standpoint, materials knowledge is an ever increasing volume of data. In reality there is more random material data running through my brain than any other process of industrial design. But like any great hunter, an industrial designer has a lucky few arrows in his favorite quiver.
Developing a design style can only happen through the process of putting out product. Over a period of time, I developed an aesthetic that appealed not only to me, but to clients and other people as well. So for most of my design career, metal and wood were rearranged into interesting and beautiful products. So even though I know of many other materials, these two just appealed the most to me.
In developing the HavenRig system I knew that wood was going to be out of the question. I was looking at having to try whole new combinations of materials. Metal, of course, would be the bones and the integrity of the system. And due to the location of the case, weight was going to be major factor. So I looked at fabrics, as there are many precedents out there in motorcycle luggage where fabric is used. So this is where I am at now, slowly breaking down the list of possible fabric choices for the HavenRig hatch access. There are so many to choose from, and its exciting to see so many high tech fabrics coming to market that I feel that this project would be so much more cutting edge if it was going to be for the Canadian Military. But that is not to be so, and instead the fabric choices get narrowed down to what is durable, cheap, and accessible. Maybe this is how, years ago, I ended up working with wood and metal. The choices just get narrowed down enough that a designer is almost forced into creating the end product with what they have ready access to.