Vibram, a leading Italian company in the manufacturing of high-performance soles, organised a design competition on Desall’s open innovation platform last year. The contest lasted for almost the entire year – it commenced with an outreach to the platform’s community of designers to develop ideas surrounding the brand’s revolutionary Luxury Rubber “leatherette rubber sheet” material, followed by community voting and the development stage.
Out of over 200 entries received was the winning design concept of Indonesian industrial designer Rico Ari Wijaya. The soon-to-be 38-year-old wowed the panel of judges and the community with a cleverly designed backpack called Vibram Orimobi.
Vibram Orimobi borrows inspiration from a whale’s expandable throat and orishiki (an origami-folding mechanism adapted in carriers). Orishiki is a hybrid word composed of origami and furoshiki, a traditional way of carrying goods by wrapping them in a cloth.
The minimalist carrier has a flexible shell-like covering made with Vibram’s Luxury Rubber, punctuated with vertical black detailing that nuances the rubber’s metallic look. The gaps are deliberately embossed onto the skin to mimic the folding capabilities of origami paper, allowing the bag to expand when needed.
The suggested interior features compartments with fastening belts for easy storage, from a protective padding for laptops to smaller inside pockets for other belongings. The rear part is designed to be breathable for the comfort of the bag’s owner. Similarly, the straps are fully adjustable to fit unique back measurements.
Rico’s conceptual design was selected for fulfilling various criteria, including technical feasibility, aesthetics, functionality and brand compliance. In addition to winning €4,000 (about Rp 70 million) following the final announcement last December, Rico also landed a week-long workshop at the Vibram Technological Center in Guangzhou, China, between the end of February and the beginning of March this year.
Prior to joining Vibram’s competition and submitting his work under the alias RAWDesign, Rico has had a decade of experience in the design field, filling in various senior positions and taking on projects for legacy companies like Sampoerna, Walls (Buavita and Magnum), and McDonald’s, Danamon Bank, Telkomsel, etc.
Rico’s competitors during the selection can be seen here.