Sa™: THe Umbrella Reimagined

The Sa™ is the umbrella reimagined. It does away with the traditional skeleton and mesh umbrella structure, for a much more modern and efficient design. Beyond it's completely new canopy design, the Sa™ also innovates with its environmentally conscious material choices, has a completely innovative internalized handle mechanism and magnetic closure system, and features many other groundbreaking new features.

The Sa™ was launched on Kickstarter and successfully reached its funding goal in one week thanks to fantastic feedback and support from project backers and media. It is currently under production and it's progress can be followed through the Kickstarter Update page. We are pleased to continue to offer the Sa™ in the Parallelogram Store as a backer reward to anyone who would like to join the campaign until the project reaches the final stages of production.

 
 

Canopy and Functionality

Like origami, The Sa uses planar tension to generate its form. The inner and outer canopies expand and contract in unison to open and close the umbrella. This new design allows the umbrella to be lighter, since it does not need the added weight of an inner metal skeleton. Also, since there are no exposed, moving components, the umbrella is stronger and will last longer. Furthermore, since the material is flexible when not in tension, it can easily bounce back into shape, even when exposed to high winds.

To ensure structural rigidity and strength against wind, the six guide panels, which can be seen along the ridges of the canopy, will be made with a stronger version of the same material. These guide panels not only allow the umbrella to open and close, but also provide strong structural support from the very tip of the canopy to it's farthest edges. 

With the innovative design of the Sa™, we are able to produce the canopy out of just one material. Thanks to this, we will be able to manufacture the entire umbrella with highly recyclable and easily repairable materials. In addition to this, since the umbrella canopy is unibody, it can be removed and replaced with another design or repaired easily. Or conversely, the handle and pole can be swapped for another design as well. For this reason, several variations and color combinations can be chosen.

In addition to this, another nice feature of the umbrella is that it has more headroom underneath the canopy, since there is no metal structure taking up space. Beyond that, we have designed the panels in such a way so that the very tips of the umbrella are less pointy, and therefore will be safer to walk around with.

 
 

Pole & Handle

In addition to the completely new canopy form, this umbrella is also the first umbrella to use an internalized mechanism. This is possible because the distance between the open and closed positions on the Sa can be shorter than with traditional umbrellas. Since this is the case, there is no need to have any exposed slider components.

To open the Sa, you simply need to rotate the bottom of the handle. The spring-loaded mechanism will open the umbrella automatically. To close the Sa, pull on the handle, just like you would with a bicycle pump or pinball machine. The handle will retract.

 

 

Magnetic Closure System

To fully close the canopy, we have embedded magnets along the perimeter of the panels. This will allow of an effortless, consistently tight closure of the umbrella. Also, when opening the umbrella, the magnets will naturally release themselves as the outward force increases. Since the canopy panels are flexible when not in tension, we will be able to flex them in order achieve this closure.

 
 

Environmental

All parts of the canopy, mechanism, and handle are made with highly recyclable, waterproof plastic. For this reason, it is very environmentally friendly. Although plastic is often thought of as a disposable material, its impermeability, lightness, strength, and long-lifespan make it ideal for an application such as this. All other components of the umbrella, such as magnets or springs, will also be implemented and sourced with the greatest care as to remain as recyclable and environmental friendly as possible.

 

 

Process

Justin first came up with the basis for the Sa™ design years ago as he was frustrated by the fragile, cumbersome, and overcomplicated design of existing umbrellas. He sought to create an umbrella which was simpler, lighter, and more natural in form. Justin presented his concept to Matthew Waldman, CCO and founder of design fashion brand Nooka, and together they transformed that into what is now the Sa™. 

Since it finds its roots in origami, the name "Sa" was created from a combination of Japanese words: “kasa,” which means umbrella, “same,” which is a word for rain, and “sasu," which is the verb used to describe holding an umbrella. The production process took several months and required many paper prototypes, sketches, 3D models, full-size mockups, and thinking outside the box before it came to fruition. 

 

 

Colors

Currently the Sa™will be offered in the following colors: Cyan, Yellow, Magenta, Black, Grey, and White. In the future the lineup will be expanded to include various other colors, combinations of colors, and eventually expand to patterns. For the original Kickstarter campaign, in order to ensure a timely delivery, this simple, beautiful color palate was chosen for the first production models.