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Even in high winds, this umbrella won’t unfurl

Just because an innovation seems simple, does not mean that it was easy to develop. We are familiar with this lesson at Sozo Design, where we have created a number of products that seem familiar to most customers, even though they have been tweaked to solve crucial problems.

For example, the Go, which we designed with Kangatek, is made to hold everyday items comfortably from either shoulder, while also providing security to the wearer. It is more comfortable and takes up less space than a backpack.

Many consumer items are being remade in this way. Recently, a Dutch-designed umbrella known as the Senz sought to solve the age-old problem faced by pedestrians on windy, rainy days: It won't turn inside out, even in strong winds.

Unlike a typical umbrella, which has a round shape, the Senz is meant to resemble a sail. It has a short front and a long back, allowing the user to walk toward heavy wind without worry. In a sense, it resembles the techniques used to make cars more aerodynamic.

On their website, the designers claim that the umbrella can withstand 70 mph winds. They even put it in a wind tunnel to prove it. As a video on the website shows, rather than turn inside out, the Senz actually turns toward the wind, holding its shape.

The Senz has gone on to win numerous major design awards. And it shows that what appear to be small tweaks can actually be fairly intricate changes. At Sozo Design, we provide that service, and many others, to our own clients.

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