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Mike Pfotenhauer on Pack Design

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What drives innovation at Osprey? How do the packs move from an idea to reality? Mike Pfotenhauer, Founder and Chief Designer at Osprey Packs, talks about his passion for design and the processes he takes when in the studio.

Mike Pfotenhauer

What drives innovation at Osprey? How do the packs move from an idea to reality? Mike Pfotenhauer, Founder and Chief Designer at Osprey Packs, talks about his passion for design and the processes he takes when in the studio.

Why design?

Backpack design is as challenging as anything I could consider. Like 3D kinetic sculpture, it has to move with your body and what’s more complex than the human body?

The process begins

The thing that has always given me most pleasure is building something by hand, so that when you’re using it, you have that feeling like ‘I made this!’.

“I like to see our product go from beginning to the end and touch it all the way and make sure what we dreamed of at the beginning is being followed through.”

Building by hand

When I’m deeply involved in the design, and I’ve got a pencil in my hand, and I’m drawing sketches, I’m in the best place I ever will be. Then I’ll snap out of it 3 hours later and say ‘whoa, what happened?’

From beginning to end

I like to see our product go from beginning to the end and touch it all the way and make sure what we dreamed of at the beginning is being followed through. We’re not just doing this to chase after business; we’re doing it because it’s a challenge and it’s going to be fun to use the gear once it’s done.

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