Like most creative minds, Karan Singh Gandhi has a bit of the soothsayer in him. Peering into his crystal ball, the Singapore-by-way-of-Mumbai designer envisions a future where clothing and accessories do more than simply look good—they’ll also have multimedia capabilities, be completely sustainable, and provide canvases for self-expression. For a design class, Gandhi whipped up the Androcell, a biopolymer backpack that not only stows your gear but also includes a solar-powered e-paper display for browsing and sharing files on the fly. Oh, and it can also be recycled at the end of its life, Cradle to Cradle-style.
BAG OF TRICKS
It was William McDonough’s talk about Cradle to Cradle, in fact, that inspired Gandhi to explore the role of technology in green design. His goal: To create a quality aesthetic that showed sustainable materials and processes in a luxurious and attractive light.
Backpack-owners can determine the appearance of the interactive display, as well as the color of the light-emitting brace.
For his Androcell backpack, Gandhi wanted to make a bold statement—”I am sustainable and proud of it.” The ability to customize each bag is particularly key, he tells Ecouterre. Backpack-owners can determine the appearance of the interactive display, as well as the color of the light-emitting X-shaped brace.
GETTING A CHARGE
The shoulder straps also make use of the e-paper display, with touchscreen buttons that allow you to access music, videos, and images, as well as transfer or download data. Glitter-sized photovoltaic cells, integrated into the backpack’s material, is another cool touch. Exposed to the sun, the Androcell is able to tap into the sun’s energy to run itself cleanly and sustainably.
Exposed to the sun, the Androcell is able to tap into the sun’s energy to run itself cleanly and sustainably.
And when the bag can hold itself together no longer, it leaves behind only technical nutrients and biodegradable waste, without “leaving an carbon footprint behind,” Gandhi says.