Founded by industrial designer Kelly Custer, Knack Design Studio specializes in working with hardware brands to help them discover new product categories they can expand into. But to keep their skills sharpened, they also engage in internal projects, like this Ondago concept for a cooler with an unusual form factor.
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“Fresh off the beach (and sweaty from exhaustion), it dawned on us that a cooler redesign was long overdue,” the company writes. “Adventurous people, like us, enjoy socializing in the great outdoors, but coolers hold us back. The problem is that the coolers available today are heavy, clunky, and a pain to haul. Fueled by our own exhausting personal experiences with coolers, we drummed up the question: How might we reimagine a cooler to encourage adventure instead of limiting it?”
“We began by studying the pain points of today’s coolers and discovered an opportunity space that no other coolers on the market could satisfy- being easy to transport in all terrains, especially sand.”
Inspiration came from beach itself, where the team observed a specialty wheelchair built to tackle sand.
They also decided it would be desirable for the cooler itself to be buoyant, like the people traveling with it.
Coupled with the desire to make the cooler easier to transport, the team struck upon an insight: What if, instead of being a cooler with wheels, the cooler was the wheel? The idea for the Ondago was born.
Fittingly, the Ondago is intended to be made from recycled plastic recovered from the ocean.
While the Ondago appears to be a design exercise only, I’d be super-curious to see how this would do on the market.