SA umbrella employs planar tension, like origami, to open and close
SA umbrella employs planar tension, like origami, to open and close
nov 06, 2014

SA umbrella employs planar tension, like origami, to open and close

SA umbrella employs planar tension, like origami, to open and close




NOOKA‘s matthew waldman, together with young designer justin nagelberg, have collaborated on a product that re-imagines the structure, form and aesthetics of the umbrella as we know it. eliminating the skeleton frame and mesh traditionally employed to inform its shape, the creative duo have turned to the japanese art of paper folding, using a planar tension that is similar to that of origami, to inform the function of their ‘SA umbrella’.


matthew waldmen and justin nagelberg on designing the ‘SA umbrella’
video courtesy of NOOKA




made from a highly recyclable, waterproof plastic — its impermeability, lightness and strength making it an ideal application for the product — the ‘SA umbrella’ is characterized by six guide panels found along the ridges of its canopy (made from a stronger version of the same material) which ensure structural rigidity and strength against wind. these strips assist in the opening and closing of the rain protection system, and offer support from the top of the canopy to its farthest edges. additionally, because there is no metal infrastructure on its interior, there is more headroom, with the panels designed so that the tips are less pointy, making it safer to walk around in wet conditions.


SA umbrella orgiami

the opening and closing movement of the ‘SA umbrella’




unlike other umbrellas on the market, ‘SA’ is the only one that functions on an internalized handle mechanism closure set-up, meaning that there are no exposed moving components, making it stronger and longer lasting. when the flexible plastic is not in tension, it automatically bounces back into shape even when it makes contact with high winds. a magnetic system embedded along the perimeter of the ‘SA umbrella’ panels ensure tight closure, while opening naturally releases the magnets as outward force increases.

SA umbrella origami designboom
‘SA umbrella’ in its open form




an expression of improved efficiency, the handle design’s internalized mechanism does without the need of having slider components. instead, the simple rotation of the bottom of the handle and the integrated spring loaded device, opens the umbrella automatically; while closing is simply done by pulling on it, like a bicycle pump or pinball machine will see it retract.  

SA umbrella origami designboom
six guide panels found along the ridges of the canopy ensure structural rigidity




finally, as a result of its unibody, the canopy, handle and pole of the ‘SA umbrella’ can each be easily swapped out with other variations and colors available, making it easy to repair. the project is currently seeking funding on kickstarter here.

SA umbrella origami designboom
the typical metal structure found on the inside of umbrellas is eliminated, offering more head room under the canopy


SA umbrella origami designboom
detail of the folding canopy


SA umbrella origami designboom
a magnetic system embedded along the perimater of the panels ensures tight closure


SA umbrella origami designboom


SA umbrella origami designboom
the base of the handle is simply turned to open the umbrella


SA umbrella origami designboom


available colors


concept sketches


SA umbrella origami designboom
concept sketches

  • This is probably the biggest case of kickstarter fraud out there. It will never become in the proposed form.

    Their latest prototype is a standard umbrella with a standard frame.

    Kickstarter fraud is still fraud.

    Bob Johnson says:

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