A couple of entrepreneurs came to FUSE with a big idea: they wanted to reduce all the CO2 and waste created by single use disposable containers. They wanted to replace all these earth killing, land-filling, leaky containers with a collapsible silicone container that diners could bring with them. This sounded good, but these containers exist. The pandemic certainly didn’t help either.
We thought, “This isn’t good. We can’t take their money to make another plastic container….”. We brainstormed. We drew concepts. Like we always do, we explored. We also knew the pervasiveness/success of all the insulated water bottles. Could we bring this insulated utility to food?
We hated all the fussy bento box-like little containers. Who eats like that? People are eating bowls of low glycemic index carbs and proteins. Or, imagine if you’re a frutarian, wouldn’t cold watermelon be good at noon? Yes it would. Do you really want to risk that thirst quenching red goodness to the office fridge? No you do not. You know your so called trusted office mates are food thieves! Maybe it’s a sign of security that they know you well enough to eat off your containers. Beyond food security, we also imagined other uses (e.g. a nice product to take on day hikes, a way to carry temperature sensitive medicines, etc).
We did some concepts and shared them with our world saving duo. The team liked it. Now we had to find a way to make this product something other than cylinder shaped. I’d get into the details, but you’ll notice almost all twin-walled, vacuum sealed stainless steel containers are cylindrical. There are lots of You Tube videos on how these are made, but our soon to be Marwall Pod would require a new path towards commercialization. This was a problem.
We scoured the world and located a company that believed in our team’s vision and they found a way. Armed with this confidence and this new factory partner, we forged ahead. FUSE did multiple thermal studies and realized we needed a twin walled lid to achieve the insulative properties we wanted. We added utensils (keen observers will recognize this as giving a nod to ancient Inuit tools) and stored them on the inside of the twin walled lid. We sealed the pod and the twin walled lid with a silicone gasket. Sliding latches with rotatable carabiner-able loops lock the lid to the base.
We imagine the metal part can last a lifetime or more (barring a fall off a cliff), but the plastics (don’t worry — they’re BPA-free Tritan) while tough, may succumb over time. All these parts are replaceable, so your pod will last a lifetime (if not cut short by a climbing accident and we know you’ll only be thinking about your Marwall Pod in that event…). We are so confident this is a lifetime-plus product, inside the metal container there’s an area to engrave to whom you want to bequeath your Marwall to.
Serial entrepreneur and avid competitive tennis player, Dr. Rahul Anand (he’s an anesthesiologist), was annoyed when he saw college and pro tennis players throwing sweat laden towels on the court after wiping off. Initially, he had hoped this was just a rare occasion, but it continued to happen. Dr. Anand even contacted the players and/or their management teams to make them aware of the hygiene problem this towel discarding was causing. Still, no change. Exasperated, Dr. Anand decided to take this problem on. This is where FUSE comes in.
Armed with the problem Dr. Anand was trying to fix, FUSE got to work. FUSE retraced the research, and for sure, this problem is a new animal. Not that it’s rare, just that its not been recognized. Lots of products start this way, we as humans adapt to situations. Look at what TESLA is trying to do with the removal of stalks.
After numerous concepts and a couple of full scale prototypes. A tight production budget started to provide clarity. Our team and Dr. Anand settled on the Rocket concept. Initially the Rocket was a single part roto-molded creature. It would hold towels, warm-up clothing, balls, hydration and personal items (phones, keys , wallets, etc.).
While initially designed for tennis, our team imagines the pod being valuable in multiple venues. The Sport Pod is at home pool side, beach side, in the gym and in the world of hospitality. With available accessory trays, the Anand Sport Pod is the perfect guest at your next barbecue.
In order to ship around the country, the world, and not ship air (or cost more than the product), we worked with the molder to make the the legs snap on. It fits into a FEDEX and UPS friendly box and sets up in minutes with no tools.
This was a proactive project providing a solution to the problem of bike parking since most bike have lost kickstands. The problem is you lean your bike against paint damaging poles and then your bike suffers more than cosmetic damage. We got this into Wired magazine and sold into REI. The rubber manufacturer who was pressing BIKEBARK bought the product a few months after we premiered at Interbike.
Hybrids are the future.
Furilla had some moderate success in that it was optioned by toy maker and purveyor Kid Robot. FUSE principal, Tory Orzeck, has this ongoing chicken love and had this idea for a line of toys based on the offspring of 4 legged mammals getting together with chickens. Of course, single eyed creatures are also close to heart. This would result in these bipedal animals he dubbed BIPETS. He pitched the idea to KidRobot but got a big “Meh”.
It turns out Patagonia’s founder’s sion , Fletcher enjoys wild boar hunting, or at least, chasing. The team at Patagonia knew we could draw and even cartoon a bit and hired FUSE to develop an sub identity to reference Fletcher’s hobby. We generated several including Lard Hamilton, a reference to a pig version of big wave Surfer Laird Hamilton (that’s a double point maker given Ham is in his last name, but only this spear weilding boar was used.
Mayan Temple Or Cute Floor Cleaning Friend?
Florbot was created as a market development tool for GE Plastics (now Sabic) to stimulate material sales in the floor cleaning appliance market. FUSE principle, Tory Orzeck, then in the GE Plastics Advanced Design and Development Group worked with Carnegie Mellon Robotics technologist Alan Branch to develop this prototype. The product leveraged bleeding edge technology at the time and GE’s portfolio of engineering thermoplastics.
To use, the owner would take Florbot out of the box, charge him up and and set him against a wall. Like an old graphics fill program, Florbot would circumscribe the perimeter, then sweep the interior area and go back to its charging station when done.
Design-wise we knew the product would always be visible so the design was a combination or architectural and companion robot, think R2D2. We especially like that the dust bin’s handle doubles as a mouth. Additionally Florbot’s cap was made from translucent amber ULTEM. At the time, GE was pushing the idea that copper traces could be imaged directly onto heat resistant ULTEM so surface mount components could be attached directly.
OTTO came back to FUSE to help them style their brilliant lightweight bike lock. We started with sketches and finished with a complete surface Model to provide photorealistic renderings and ultimately exterior control for engineering.
FUSE named this division of DWFritz and we did the identity design for OTTO.
OTTO came back to FUSE after we helped them with their break-througn iphone app enabled rear deraillieur tuning system. This time they wanted concepts for bike tools. This would certainly complement their tuning system. As you may know, FUSE named this division of automation specialist, DWFritz, and we did the identity for OTTO.
Slabtown In Stumptown
A very clever guy came to FUSE with an idea. A better way to set up a grid of rebar that floats within a slab of concrete. This wasn’t a totally new idea, but Kerry, the guy, had a host of improvements he wanted to add and he had a plan to make these really sell. These concrete chairs turn the painful time eating chore of setting up a grid of rebar into literally a snap. The rebar just pops into place at just the right height.Our job was to make them super strong and super cool. We made them feel like the super utilitarian future by instituting this octogonal theme throughout the structure. The octogonal base not only provided visual branding but also helped with keeping the rebar layouts in the field straight. FUSE designed all 27 variations that accomodate different sized bar and different heights. FUSE also redesigned the BIP logo along the way.
When we built Orp, the super smal really cool bike horn/ bike light, we built it to be Remote Ready. Meaning: make a small wired switch that cold be placed under thumb that could go wherever the rider wanted. This simple product makes the Orp experience that much better as you never need to lift a hand to actuate either of Orp’s horn sounds. The REMORP uses a slick dual action switch. Press lightly on REMORP’s bulbous swelling to fire Orp’s loud sound and then press a little harder to fire Orp’s 96dB loud sound. The other cool thing about the REMORP is it provided an update to the Orp product line that worked for all Orps and Orp owners. It’s super neat and you should go to Orpland.com to get one… now!