Our assignment for this project, sponsored by Leeds, was to create a user specific lunch bag. My group chose the Activly Involved Non-Working Parent (or "Soccer Mom" for short). The bag, while carrying lunch for mom(or dad) and the kids, also transforms the once wasted space of the passenger seat into an organizational space.
Group Members: Zoe Pinfold, Mary Katica
We began by doing research into our chosen user base, conducting several interviews with parents of a broad age range. The first thing we noticed was how much time they spend in the car. Going from place to place, they usually bring food along for both themselves as well as the kids.
Food isn't their only carry-on though, we often found that parents were bringing along magazines, bills, makeup, books, and a myriad of items to keep busy while waiting for the little ones to finish up the piano lesson. The car became their mobile office, with the front seat their desk. Realizing this, we sought a way to incorporate a little bit more organization into such a cluttered world, while avoiding the stigma of bags that look like they're build for organization.
While outside the car, the tote, being used normally, acts as a rather more organized bag. It appears on the outside to be just a simple tote but when you look inside you can see a pocket for every occasion. Apples, water bottles, cell phones, granola bars, sandwiches, magazines, makeup; there are enough pockets of different shapes and sizes that you'll be able to find a home for anything (the makeup pouch is even removable).
Once you get in the car however, it transforms. For more than a decade, kids will only be inhabiting the rear seats owing to the danger of having a front airbag deploy in a collision at someone under thirteen. This means that the front passenger seat will be primarily empty and an opportunity for turning wasted space into organization space.
As you can see, the strap goes over the headrest of the passenger seat and the front of the bag folds down to become a stable, organized space. Simple, clean magnets keep the front of the bag in place while you're just carrying it around, making it a hold that's strong but gives way with a gentle tug. When you're ready to head out, the magnets make your job easy and snap together smoothly, almost of their own accord.
Since we had the manufacturing might of Leeds behind us, another factor of the project was creating plan drawings which would be sent, along with our prototypes, to their factories in China. What seemed like a long time passed and we finally received our bags, three of each having been produced (each group had three members).