The North Face have been protecting us folk from the frosty bite of the winter months for over 50 years; and now they are looking to shelter us from the cold too! Teaming up with BMW, they have created a Futurelight camper using “the world’s most advanced” material to shelter people in the harshest of conditions – basically England right now!
Okay, perhaps they haven’t designed it for Londoners in the snowy months, but rather for extreme conditions high in the Alps or the Himalayas. Currently on show at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, BMW’s creative division Designworks joined forces with the famous winter brand to create the camper, which utilises nanospinning technology called Futurelight fabric to allow inhabitants to stay warm and dry in the coldest of temperatures.
The material uses electrospinning techniques, which utilise electric force to spin nano-fibres together. This is important for the fabric as it allows the material to breathe through the tiny nano-sized holes it creates, whilst remaining totally waterproof.
BMW helped out with the shell of the camper, using it’s previous concept car, the 2008 BMW GINA, as inspiration. The outside of the GINA was covered in a flexible Lycra skin, and they transferred their expertise of working with such design into the camper.
They created a two layered system in the camper, much like your average tent. The Futurelight fabric on the outside, with a softer material acting as the inner layer.
The company were able to deploy a simulator at CES, meaning consumers could sit inside the Futurelight camper, with howling winds and blasting snow portrayed on the outside, to get a feel of what living in one of these campers would be like.
“We combined both physical and digital worlds to showcase this material, ensuring the holistic vision of the brand was clearly communicated, while giving people a real ‘hands-on’ experience,” said Designworks studio director Laura Robin.
“Thinking about extreme performance in new and unexpected ways from our experience of working across multiple industries helped us to provide consumers with a unique and never before seen insight into the very heart of the material and its key attributes,” she added.
As Futurelight has been called “the world’s most advanced” breathable and waterproof material, HEKKTA has no doubts that it will be utilised in not just other North Face products, but all high-end winter brands such as Patagonia, Canada Goose or Columbia in the near future. In fact, The North Face will be introducing this technology into it’s Fall 2019 product line, where it will be featured across the brand’s “pinnacle performance” collections.
As excellent as this design is however, one large issue with it’s intended purpose is how they think they are going to get it up to the extreme conditions where it’s needed most? It could be a groundbreaking advancement for the lives of those people living in such conditions, but without roads or indeed a vehicle able to get it up to a base camp on Everest for example, they might be stuck with needy Londoners for now anyway!