PIFpack Story

Published: April 2020

PIFpack is a backpack that transforms into an electronic textiles workbench. The design is inspired by observations and experiences from a week of hacking in the Slovenian alps during PIFcamp 2016. The modular design of the backpack will allow you to customize it to the specific needs of your practice, as well as reconfigure the contents of the backpack or the layout of the studio every time you pack and unpack it.

This work is part of A Wearable Studio Practice, which aims to package the work environment of a typical Electronic Textiles studio into a series of portable items that can be worn or carried on the body. By providing functionality normally contained in static furniture and architectural infrastructure, these items allow the e-textiles engineer to become nomadic in her practice.


PIFpack will be developed during a one month residency at Ljudmila in September 2016. The final version of the backpack will be documented so that it can be replicated, modified and improved by others.

PIFpack is/can/do:
– Two modes: transport mode, studio mode
– Contains all tools listed
– Comfortable to carry for transport from A to B
– All tools are stored safely in transport mode
– Most tools are accessible in transport mode
– All tools are displayed usefully during studio mode

PIFpack is not:
– A bag you would carry around with you for every day use (see the Daypacks)
– Not like a tool-box, ideal tool-access is only in studio mode

Design goals:
– Simple design, not too many straps or fasteners
– Non-wasteful use of materials (square cuts…)

Design process summary:
– analyse tools (list them, cluster them…)
– analyse work environment and process (how do I move in relation to the tools and what I’m making?)

Day 1 (2/9/2016)

Listing all the tools I want to transport in the PIFpack in a spreadsheet and clustering them in terms of: family, subfamily, shape, size, weight, frequency of use.
>> https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/16Jc6139ecPvx5OUbx7I5cVP6T8z8VBY5qzopgFntM6E/edit?usp=sharing

Too many tools:

A selection of tools that should be able to fit in the PIFpack:

Day 2 (5/9/2016)

Illustrating all the tools:

And clustering them in terms of their attributes (shape, size, weight):

Day 3 (6/9/2016)

Sketching possible storage/access/wearable solutions for the different tool clusters:

Create a swatchbook of the different tool clusters designs and experiments.
Chop-stick modules.

Day 4 (7/9/2016)

Work out backpack dimensions…
REI has a nice illustrated guide >> https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/backpack.html

Portable Headquarters: “Persons can gain access to the interior of the backpack by climbing through a leather flap on the back.”
>> http://www.criticalmiss.com/issue8/portablehq2.html

EDC stands for Everyday Carry.

MOLLE is an acronym for Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment.
>> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MOLLE

Constructivist Uniform patters
Have you ever wanted a uniform?
>> http://www.rootsimple.com/2014/07/have-you-ever-wanted-a-uniform/

Andrea Zittel’s Smockshop
>> http://www.zittel.org/works
>> http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/09/18/popping-up-andrea-zittels-smockshop/?_r=0

Animated toolbox from Andy

Shirt exchange, borrow and wear, then pass on.
>> www.shirting.si

Made locally from recycled materials.
>> http://smetumet.com/en/product-category/messanger-bag/

Apron illustrations

Hunt & Gather Apron Bag by Natalie Purschwitz
>> http://canadiandesignresource.ca/fashiontextiles/apron-bag/

Thing to Thing Project >> http://canadiandesignresource.ca/exhibitions/thing-to-thing-project/

Unisex hairdresser belt tool bag / Hairdresser holster/ Hair stylist apron / Hairdresser gift
>> https://www.etsy.com/listing/128862205/unisex-hairdresser-


Snap Bag
>> http://wuitoki.altervista.org/portfolio/snap-bag/

Apron Bag
>> http://wuitoki.altervista.org/portfolio/the-apron-bag/

Design-A-Bag Competition 2013 >> http://www.arsarpel.com/future-designers-awards/

A bag that can transform from a handbag to a backpack or sling bag.
>> http://www.coroflot.com/lkong/Amudo-State-changing-Bag

Apron Tool Bag
>> http://www.red-dot.sg/de/online-exhibition/concept/?code=829&y=2013&c=12&a=2?code=829&y=2013&c=12&a=2
This tool storage bag unzips into a work apron in which tools can be carried for convenient access during repair work.