Emergent
A traveling innovation firm

Our Work

 

Anthropology Meets Design

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How Can Working in the Winter Feel Warm and Fuzzy?

  The Art of Layering    Taking cues from extreme outdoorsmen to design a new standard for winter gear

The Art of Layering

Taking cues from extreme outdoorsmen to design a new standard for winter gear

 
 

When working in the extreme cold, sweat is as dangerous as frostbite.

To study the challenges of working in the winter, Emergent went to Alaska to learn from hardcore outdoorsmen who make their living outside in the bitter cold.

We shadowed them as they worked on oil pipelines, framed houses, raced dogs and climbed glaciers. By watching how they work and how they modify their gear, we identified new and overlooked opportunities for design.

The difference between survival and suffering is a clever layering strategy.

 
 
 
 

The Art of Layering

Both a way of life and a new product strategy

Inspired by the stories and strategies from Alaska we created The Art of Layering, a new product strategy with six essential layers for managing extreme cold. Like the layers of the earth, each layer provides a unique function for insulation, protection or ventilation.

The framework points toward design opportunities and also new ways to talk about winter gear.

 

 
 

Alaska Tough

Alaskan Hardgear, a product line for hardcore winter outdoorsmen.

Taking inspiration from our research, the theme of the 2015 winter catalog was Alaska. At the same time, Duluth launched a new product line called Alaskan Hardgear.

 

Inspired by the people we met in Alaska, we designed problem-solving layers for winter work.

Inspired by the workarounds and survival hacks we observed in the field, we created hero pieces for the Alaskan Hardgear launch. From wind-blocking undergarments to Inuit anoraks, Alaskan Hardgear is designed to make working in the bitter cold feel warm and fuzzy. 

 

 The Manorak  The Manorak is based on the Anorak, a garment invented by the Inuits of Alaska whose unique design traps body hear close to the core. We got the idea for the high performance Manorak from dog mushers who wear Anoraks during the Iditarod, a 2 week dog sled race across Alaska.

The Manorak

The Manorak is based on the Anorak, a garment invented by the Inuits of Alaska whose unique design traps body hear close to the core. We got the idea for the high performance Manorak from dog mushers who wear Anoraks during the Iditarod, a 2 week dog sled race across Alaska.
 Thicker Skin  After a rough day out on the glacier with ice climbers our knees and elbows were wrecked. We designed hardcore base layers that create a level of protection for those areas that get the most banged up.

Thicker Skin

After a rough day out on the glacier with ice climbers our knees and elbows were wrecked. We designed hardcore base layers that create a level of protection for those areas that get the most banged up.
 
 
 
 Shirt Tail Shammy  We noticed people were always looking for a clean place to wipe their goggles, glasses or screen. This design has a built-in wiper inside the shirt tail.

Shirt Tail Shammy

We noticed people were always looking for a clean place to wipe their goggles, glasses or screen. This design has a built-in wiper inside the shirt tail.
 Wind Blocking Underwear  We got this idea from Cody who adds a wind blocking layer of fur to his underwear to protect himself from those icy polar vortexes.

Wind Blocking Underwear

We got this idea from Cody who adds a wind blocking layer of fur to his underwear to protect himself from those icy polar vortexes.