Tuesday, April 26, 2005

New Umbrella Blossoms

As my torn and disfigured umbrella blows away down the street, I've often wondered why no one has ever come up with a substantially new umbrella design. One that dispatches with those metal ribs that always break or tear away from the fabric, opens and closes smoothly, and doesn't splash water everywhere when you try to close it.

Apparently, I wasn't the only one. Andy Wana's Lotus 23 is a revolutionary, fully retractable umbrella that creatively addresses all the problems areas with the traditional umbrella design. Wana's new rain stopper took home the 2005 Australian Design Award-Dyson Student Award for its innovative, lateral thinking design.

The Lotus 23 canopy retracts entirely inside the body of the umbrella, squeezing out the water as it does so you don't have to bring the water in from the rain with you. The canopy unfolds out of the handle much like a flower opening up, which also means that you can semi-retract the umbrella to pass others in tight areas. There are no sharp, pointed arms - and the vented design with flexible ribs means that the wind won't take your umbrella away or leave it a broken, upturned mess.

Not only that, but Andy claims it is even cheaper to manufacture because of the efficiency of the design. It can even come in an assortment of colors thanks to the ABS plastic body. As someone who has been chronically abused by inferior umbrellas, I can assure Andy that I'd be first in line to buy a Lotus 23 if it hits shelves.

Read more about the Lotus here.

Via Josh Spear.

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