design a new product category for senz˚


Join master project


Autumn 2014


During the Joint Master Project students work in a team, consisting of students from all the three master directions of the faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, on assignments for participating companies. The three masters are: Integrated Product Design, Design for Interaction and Strategic Product Design. Together these students form a strong design team that can bring a lot of value to the companies they are working for.


senz˚ is well known for their high quality storm umbrella's. However, in order to grow bigger, the company needs to add new product categories to their portfolio. Therefore senz° aspires to develop their brand from a design oriented ‘weather enjoyment’ brand to a ‘commuter lifestyle’ brand by adding new innovative products.

This joint master project was focused on investigating these new product categories and designing the concept of the next product. The result is the 180˚ backpack, that enables easy accessibility by turning the back to the front. This is enabled by a smart mechanism.



To develop the new product category for senz˚, a combination of two approaches is used: the Brand Driven Innovation and the Lean Startup Method.

The first method was used to create new brand strategies and resulted into three design challenges. These directions where used in the ideation phase to create new product ideas which where validated by interviewing and testing with users. Finally three product concepts where created. The decision to continue with the backpack concept was based on a discussions with the company, a compression of all the factors that could achieve the brand transition and a validation of the riskiest assumptions on which the concepts are based.

During the last phase of the project, the concept is developed into an embodied design. Multiple physical prototypes of the backpack and the mechanism where build and tested resulting in the final design of the backpack.


The result of this project is a strategy to develop the senz˚ brand towards a commuter lifestyle brand. The 180˚ backpack functions as the first step towards this direction and enables senz˚ to expend their product portfolio with other product groups.

The 180˚ backpack is based on the same senz˚ principles: solving problems with smart designs.

senz˚ has shown great interests in the new product and continued the development of the product.

Olivier Sebastiaan

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