To introduce the new Carry Range colourways, Urth’s creative product design team Minnie, Josh and Jiachen share more about the creative and functional considerations behind the latest colours and design improvements.
Words by Urth HQ
What are the new colourways inspired by?
The colours were inspired in the outdoors and the calming feeling of being in nature. The vision was for the bags to feel a part of our environment and not to stick out or feel out of place. From their form, effortlessness, and how they flow with the human body, to the colours surrounding us and consideration of materials for the least impact possible. — Minnie
Who did you have in mind when designing the range?
The range was designed for those who want to blur the lines between photography and lifestyle. We don’t get behind bulky camera bags, rather make photography part of our every day. This range does that. It can seem like a niche, but that’s exactly what we envisioned for the collection and how our community uses them. Which I guess is gratifying — Minnie
Could you walk us through the process of designing an item for the carry range, from concept all the way to sample iterations?
Stage one always begins with creative direction. We start by defining the direction for the project, what we want to create and the overall look we want and who we’re making it for. We then outline the product’s function and potential materials, taking into consideration durability and as low impact materials available as possible. Then we begin moodboarding to definite the visual direction for the project — from fabric to hardware. Once we have a clear aesthetic in mind, we loosely sketch ideas and refine the concepts until we have a few directions on a shortlist. Once we’ve decided on a final concept, we flesh out the smaller details like usability and features. — Josh
What do you believe is unique about Urth’s approach to product design?
When we design, we want to make sure our products feel a part of nature and not go against it. From the look and feel, to the materials, execution and impact they have in the environment. They should give you a calming feeling, just like nature. — Minnie
What improvements have you made to the usability/design of the bags since we first launched the carry goods?
We’ve made a few small changes to the range over time to improve the look and functionality based on feedback from customers. These include: updating the pocket layout in both backpacks to improve usability, updating the exterior fabric with a slightly heavier weight version to give it a softer and smoother feel, increasing the thickness of padding in the camera inserts to better protect camera gear and replacing a few unsustainable materials materials with more sustainable alternatives.
What are your favourite design features of the backpacks?
I love the insert bag feature, especially when combining the easy access to insert bag on the Arkose bag. It makes the bag so versatile without compromising any usability. — Jiachen
What’s your favourite item from the Carry Range?
The Arkose backpack is my favourite item so far. It is the perfect combination of everyday carry and occasional photography lifestyle. — Jiachen
These bags are the beginning of a wider range at Urth, what is the wider vision for Urth products?
The long term vision for Urth is to promote connection to nature through product design and art mediums like photography or video — to help bring these ideas into consciousness. How can our clothes or surroundings make us feel part of the whole? Sometimes, as a society, we are very disconnected from that. I want people to remember that everyday, because I believe they will feel better if they do. How can a product remind you that you belong in nature? I want to explore that idea — Minnie
What makes the Urth Carry Range different from other products?
I think the Urth Carry Range offers a unique perspective of ‘photography as a lifestyle’. The bags blend with your everyday life and the passion for photography. Most of the camera bags are specifically designed for photography use, with less consideration of other usage scenarios. Often results in you having a bag for photography, and also needing other bags for your everyday life. I personally like to use the Urth bags for photography, but also use them as my everyday carry. — Jiachen
Could you introduce us to each member of the product team and share a bit about what they specialise in?
We have a small but powerful product team. As the Creative Director of Urth, my main focus is setting up the vision for the brand and the story for each of our collections and campaigns. Josh Connor is our Industrial Designer, excellent at concept design, sketching, rendering and prototyping in house. Jiachen Liu, winner of a few Red Dot Design Awards, has recently joined the team and he has brought a lot of guidance with strategy, interactive workshops, and design direction. Michael Liu is our production and project coordinator and is the main link between the design team, suppliers and our operations team. Last but not least, Christian Gibson, founder, director and husband in chief helps keep us on track by joining progress meetings and questioning our design choices, making sure we are doing as good as we can do. I believe that as a team, we compliment each other amazingly and are finding a great flow. We are super excited for what’s to come, and believe there should be a unique space for Urth into the future. — Minnie