Flashy design has a place beyond 80s-themed dance nights at bars in Williamsburg: when you're crossing the street at night, or riding your bike down a dimly-lit road, it's important to be seen. The all-too familiar refrain in accidents when a car hits a pedestrian or biker is "I just didn't see them," or "They came out of nowhere." Here's one design that can help.
Sputnik Zurich's high-visibility bags are recycled from the ultra-bright reflective vests used by construction workers. While there's already reflective clothing for joggers and cyclists, it can feel awkward to wear it if you're not actually out exercising. Who's going to wear a vest when they're walking home from work? The bag, while serving the same purpose, manages to stay a little more casual.
The designers also say they want the bags to help people meet each other:
The subtle change of context of safety clothing affects the street scene and brings people together. The reinvention of a regular object attracts attention and provides a common thread between people, a topic for conversation.\n
The company, made up of two architects, is making the bags locally in Zurich in a small shipping container studio. Friends and neighbors are invited to stop by and collaborate on ideas for new bags that they'd personally like to use. As the company expands, they plan to use building containers at construction sites around the city. When they need to deliver materials between the sites, they'll get on cargo bikes and ride, wearing their own products while they make the delivery.
Images courtesy of Sputnik Zurich