Inside-out umbrella design transforms into handbag

Like the proverbial mouse trap, it seems like everyone is always out to design a better umbrella. While many of the results are more focused on novelty and form than function, some combine style and substance in an appealing and pragmatic way – such as this transforming inside-out umbrella idea by Seung Hee Son.

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The portability is of course the first and most obvious benefit of this unique umbrella design but certainly not the only one. In addition to collapsing into an easy-to-carry handbag, this umbrella inverts as it does so – thus, it captures the water on the inside instead of letting it drip within whatever interior space you are entering. That means a lot less mess.


Moreover, the designer has thought out how the transformation process will work on a step-by-step basis to ensure that everything can be done in a dry, comfortable and easy way with one hand on the handle and the other hand performing the conversion without getting wet. The diagram above makes it clear exactly how it works to keep the moisture cntained during the process. There is, however, the question of how useful it really is to keep the water trapped inside the “handbag” you’re carrying around.

Inside-out umbrella design drip free
Inside-out umbrella design in bag form

About the Designer

“Seung Hee Lee is PhD. and Associate Professor of the Faculty of Art and Design, University of Tsukuba, Japan. She worked on the development of “Onigiri Machine-Device for safety of children” SCOPE, funded by MIC 2010. Her major research topics are in Kansei Interaction, Kansei Media, and studying the creativity of designers using fMRI. Since 2004, she has collaborated in interdisciplinary studies with Brain and Cognitive scientists with the goal of creating new ideas for integrated research.”

“Currently, she researches Human Cognitive Behavior focused on Adaptive Problem Solving together with professor Muneo Kitajima, developer of the Cognitive Chrono-Ethnography methodology.”