RnD In Real Time
Field testing brings to mind images of shredded fabric, broken straps, puncture holes, a thing worn down and pushed to its limits. But it's more than that; it's a relationship.
Arc'teryx designer and climber Nathan Kukathas heads out to Baffin Island for six weeks and he takes along with him some prototypes for an impressive and intimate undertaking.
There is the majesty of the environment: massive rock walls, broad valleys and warmth that shudders loose great chunks of rock, the plan to put a new route and the testing: designer and products interacting on a level that goes beyond function to the origin of creation – need.
The point is not to discover failure, as one's life may be in the balance, but to discover and appreciate the true nature of the product. It may be that one idea becomes two separate items, or an entirely different shape takes form. Design is a process, not an event.
Photographer Paul Bride, part of the Arc'teryx team, travels with Nathan and uses his remarkable combination of athleticism, skill and artistry to document the climb, the research, the human elements behind high performance equipment.
Four friends, a meticulous undertaking of planning, execution, vertical loss and gain, and a unique experience in the remote reaches of the natural world – research and character development.
Check back for a complete report on Nathan and Paul's journey.
Baffin Island 2012 crew: Nathan Kukathas, Paul Bride, Chris Fitzgerald and Chris Warner