7 Apr
One of our most popular posts ever gets an iPad update

A couple years ago we came across an item called the Openaire, created by sibling duo Nick&Beau. We thought the concept was brilliant in its simplicity: a laptop case that functions not only to protect and carry your computer, but which can fold out to create its own ad hoc workspace — complete with mini desk and chair (transformed from its protective case). We loved it and posted it, and thought that would be that. But as it turns out, that would not just be that — that would also be one of our most popular posts. Ever. And it’s still bringing them in to this day. So when Nick&Beau hit us up about their next project, the PaletteCase, we knew we wanted to give some shine to the piece. Morever, they have full on plans to bring the PaletteCase into production via their Kickstarter campaign. Coming in two versions — gray wool felt or leather — with vegetable dyed leather handles, the  PaletteCase looks like it could make as big a splash as its Openaire predecessor. Read our Q&A with the Trincia brothers Nick&Beau to discover the genesis to their always imaginative inspiration…

How did the idea of the Openaire come about? What was the inspiration?
Nick: The idea was inspired by the suggested mobility of our laptops and wireless networks but the difficulty in using these tools in a truly mobile way. We then set out to design a system that would allow someone to utilize this mobility, and hopefully get out of the office more often.
Beau: Yeah, we basically asked ourselves: What is the minimum you would need to carry with you to create a workspace anywhere? And how could we make those workspace elements as portable as possible? Designing them into the computer bag typology quickly evolved to be the best solution.

Are you aware it’s one of our most popular posts of all time? Would you ever imagine the concept would resonate with people like it has?
Nick: We first posted the initial concept renderings over 2 years ago. Once they started being posted on a couple blogs it took off far more than we ever thought it would. I wasn’t totally surprised though. I think it fills a need or desire that a lot of people have, whether they had realized it or not.

Why didn’t you concentrate on bringing the Openaire into production before jumping to an iPad case?
Beau: We are working on getting Openaire into production but decided to introduce PaletteCase, while we continue to refine the laptop system which is a lot more complex. You should be hearing about it later this summer.
Nick: Every aspect of launching PaletteCase has been a great learning experience, and I think we are in a much better position to move forward with something more complex like Openaire.

HIt the Jump to continue reading our Q&A with Nick&Beau…

“One time I looked down at my shopping cart and saw cat food and kitty litter. I realized I had been pushing someone else’s cart for some time…”

Describe your relationship with each other — what’re your respective rolls?
Nick: My background is in product design and prototyping so I have been doing most of the cutting and sewing for PaletteCase. The bulk of the work was done with both of us sitting around my kitchen table and bouncing ideas and prototypes back and forth then building upon them.
Beau: I am not nearly as skilled in the art of making and manufacturing as Nick is. He knows a lot more about whether something can be manufactured and if the materials will allow for the design. But to say that I’m more of the concept guy and he’s more of the execution and details guy would be very misleading. It’s amazing how often we reverse roles and how frequently we come to the same conclusions simultaneously when solving a problem or detail. It’s very fluid. Somehow we arrived at the same idea of Openaire in parallel. He’s coming from a Product Design perspective and I’m thinking about it from a portable architecture angle.

OK lastly, if you were lost in a supermarket, in what aisle would we find you in?
Nick: I’d probably be bagging groceries in the self-checkout lane.
Beau: Looking for my cart.  One time I looked down at my cart and saw cat food and kitty litter. I realized I had been pushing someone else’s cart for some time. I abandoned it and hunted all over the store for my own.

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