Essays

Ten Principles of Good Packing

Words By Sheila Lam

 

In the late 1970s, Dieter Rams wrote the Ten Principles of Design. His “non-manifesto” expressed the guiding tenets he sought during a time of “an impenetrable confusion of forms, colours, and noises.” For over 50 years, he has influenced generations of designers and makers in ways beyond industrial with this philosophy. These primary considerations define how we design our product and set a fitting order for how to use them as well.

 

1. Good design is innovative.
2. Good design makes a product useful.
3. Good design is aesthetic.
4. Good design makes a product easy to understand.
5. Good design is unobtrusive.
6. Good design is honest.
7. Good design is durable.
8. Good design is thorough, down to the last detail.
9. Good design is environmentally friendly.
10. Good design is as little design as possible.

     
    GOOD PACKING IS INNOVATIVE

    Rams considered innovation as clear improvements in a product’s function and that solutions are infinite when partnered with technological progress. We look to the latest designs to make our travels more effortless than ever before. Packing cubes separate messy and overstuffed suitcases. Cable cases stop annoying tangles and double as a phone stand. Interchangeable kits that snap on and off make for easy access through security checkpoints.

     

    GOOD PACKING MAKES A PRODUCT USEFUL

    As tempting as it is to throw everything into your luggage haphazardly, it doesn't utilize the compartments well, and ultimately valuable space is wasted. In a wave of popularity from its release in 2011 to its Netflix adaptation in 2019, Marie Kondo demonstrates a basic folding method that works wonders in The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Shirts, pants, and best of all socks fold into perfectly uniform and efficient little stand-up parcels that fit snugly into any suitcase.

     

    GOOD PACKING IS AESTHETIC

    Rams wrote that “the aesthetic quality of a product is integral to its usefulness because products we use every day affect our person and our well-being. But only well-executed objects can be beautiful.” Zipperless aluminum frames, anodized aluminum corner guards, unbreakable polycarbonate shells, ultra-sturdy telescopic handles, and whisper-quiet wheels don't just look good. They function better.

     

    GOOD DESIGN MAKES PACKING EASY TO UNDERSTAND

    We’ve put a lot of consideration into the design of our products, so you don’t have to. Of course, there’s no one right way to pack, but all of our features keep things simple. So wherever you’re packing for, it all makes sense. Whether it’s side pockets inside the main compartment to fit a water bottle, a privacy compartment made with stretchy, waterproof fabric for shoes, or a hidden pocket with a magnetic snap closure for your phone, passport, and small valuables.

     

    GOOD PACKING IS UNOBTRUSIVE

    Travelling can be stressful as is, least of all your troubles should be your luggage. Rams notes that “products fulfilling a purpose are like tools” and we agree. Lightweight and manoeuvrable, our products are designed to fit any occasion without taking away from your adventure. Whether it’s a day trip out to nature or a sojourn across Europe, we give you space for your experience.

     

    GOOD PACKING IS HONEST

    In a similar fashion to Braun, the iconic company with which Rams had his longtime partnership, they focused on manufacturing products that were genuinely useful and that met people’s needs better. Repeating outfits or planning multiple outfits around a couple of key pieces helps to reduce what you have to pack. When considering what to bring along on your travels, ask and answer yourself honestly, “do I need this?”

     

    GOOD PACKING IS DURABLE

    Durability went beyond the physical withstanding of materials for Rams, as the quality of a product was always implied to be of the highest value. Instead, he considered good design to be enduring and lasting. When packing, think beyond trends and short-lived trivial objects. Avoiding being fashionable offers an appearance that never feels antiquated.

     

    GOOD PACKING IS THOROUGH, DOWN TO THE LAST DETAIL

    Rams said, “thoroughness and accuracy in design are expressions of respect – for the product and its function as well as the user.” Consider what you need ahead of time and how it will impact not only your experience but of the places you visit. Going to the beach somewhere sunny? Find a coral reef-safe SPF.

     

    GOOD PACKING IS ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY

    Combating the destruction of our environment doesn't just include journeying closer to home or choosing slower, greener modes of the voyage but also our consumption surrounding travel. Many online influencers are purchasing whole "capsule wardrobes" for vacation or a single photo opportunity in an increasingly concerning trend. Instead, be timeless and look to the quality of items you're bringing. And remember, “less but better”.

     

    And last but certainly not least, good packing is as little packing as possible. ■

     

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