use it – fold it & take it with you.
Words that perfectly describe the Kalimero, a portable bike helmet concept.
You might have seen many bike helmets which are portable. Designed in a way that they retract or fold enough to be carried around with you anywhere you go. Kalimero definitely works the same way, but Flexibility being it’s Key Feature and the fact that it is around a 100grams lighter than a usual helmet, it can become a better version of these existing products.
We talk to design student Clara Schweers about her creation & see if Kalimero has what it takes to ace the current generation of Cycling helmets.
Clara Schweers in a exclusive interview with designdaily..
Clara, please tell us about the design ?
“Kalimero is characterized by its geometrical structure making it possible to fold perfectly. Throughout this folding technique a flexible and very strong surface was created. Because of the compression of the materials, injuries in case of an accident can be prohibited.”
“The helmet fits on the head in an optimal way, only touching it partially. That is why the haircut is provided with ventilation and isn’t not affected once arriving at the destination. The line of vision is directed to the sight of the head because of the alignment. At this point the helmet is fixed with the help of a simple elastic band to make it much more easy for the user to fold and unfold.”
What was the Inspiration behind this project ?
“I wanted to create a helmet for city lovers. This audience wants to be independent, choosing the bicycle as their main mode transportation. Riding to work or escaping the crowded and expensive local traffic during their free time. Their freedom makes it possible to move around flexibly from A to B, supported by Kalimero. ”
Can you please walk us through the whole design process ?
“I started by scribbling how you could reduce the volume of a helmet. After focusing on folding techniques I took the piece of paper I sketched on and started folding it. Simply getting an idea of what it could look like. Although paper is very stable after folding, it doesn’t fulfil the safety requirements. ”
“I decided to apply the folding technique onto a stronger material: polypropylene and PVC, already hoping of this to work. Turned out you can fold those materials but they are not very flexible after folding them. They just maintain one form. After taking a closer look at the pattern I realized that it was made out of triangles. Separating those from each other made it possible to achieve a steady and flexible structure at the same time.”
What was the biggest challenge that you faced while working on this project ?
“It was very difficult to find and apply the pattern of the technique onto a more stable material than paper: in this case the PVC. Many different thicknesses were tested as well as folding the plastic sheet in one or separating the single triangles from one another to give them more space to fold.”
What is the most unique feature of the Helmet ?
“The helmet is very flexible. Not only in being able to fold flat perfectly but also in reference to the shape of the head. Since every one of us has a unique head form, every one of us would actually need a helmet specifically made for them. Kalimero can Adapt to many head shapes and sizes because of its pattern. Another thing I would like to add is that the helmet only touches the head partially which provides a nice ventialtion.”
Is there any problem or issue that you addressing through this project ?
“Today bicycle helmets are rare companions in our daily life. I was wondering why as they are meant to keep us safe. They just have this specific look, which does not only make them unattractive but especially nonpractical. Riding your bike is all about freedom, being independent and riding wherever you want to. A helmet can get in the way of these emotions, because it can significantly change our outward appearance to begin with and can also be described as bulky and very voluminous. Therefore a helmet is limiting what we can or cannot do when riding the bike.”
“I was trying to find a balance between gaining a whole new look and integrating it in our daily life so people accept it and actually wear it.”
What are the materials used in the project ?
“To maintain the shape of the folding technique and especially hold on to the fact that Kalimero should be able to fold flat as small as possible I had to minimize the materials. ”
“The helmet was made out of three layers. The two outer ones are mesh fabric holding together the inner layer made out of numerous 0.3mm thick PVC triangles arranged to form the pattern. Between each and every single one of the triangles a sewing machine stitched the yarn forming pockets between the two mesh layers to provide the ideal footing for the triangles. The material of the straps is leather & makes them tear resistant, elastic.”
Can you please tell us about the Structure of the Helmet? And how is it able to maintain that Shape ?
“The structure was found in the book called ‘Folding Techniques’ written by Paul Jackson. Trying out different techniques and finally choosing the one because of its stability and flexibility. ”
“The pattern is made out of several squares combined with two diagonals forming an X and generating a structure only made out of triangles. With many columns aligning after another every second one is shifted. This made it possible for every square to get space within the squares next to them. In other words they are getting stuck.”
“Kalimero’s structure cannot fall flat because of the integration of the squares and because of one simple adjustment. I fastened the side ends located above the ears making it easier for the user to fold and unfold it.”
Are you planning to make into a Product ?
“As of now a few improvements have to be made in the helmet. Who wouldn’t love to see their product be accepted by society ?”
What are you trying to achieve with this project ?
“Everything that comes in contact with our body or especially what changes our outward appearance is challenging to create. A helmet will only keep you safe you from the surrounding traffic if you actually wear it. To do so I wanted to give the typical helmet a new look and therefore a new chance to establish itself. The feature differentiating Kalimero from it’s competitors is it being able to fold flat perfectly and to stow away easily as well, giving you the freedom you need while and after taking you bike out for a ride.”
Clara did you conduct any test on the helmet?
“Since I did not have the opportunity to test Kalimero according to the EN1078. I cannot answer the question if it can be used as of now. However I am confident about it’s potential and I will test the helmet as soon as possible.”
What is your Definition of Design ?
“Design is an improvement or an invention at it’s best combining the look with its features.”
About the designer..
22 years old & studying Industrial design at the School of Design at Hochshule Pforzheim. Originally from Cologne, Germany, the Kalimero was her project in her second semester at Pforzheim.
“As a designer to-be i have the intent to create, improve and invent, at it’s best, focussing on the outward appearance as well as the features coming with it.”
You can find Clara on
Behance : (Click)
Instagram : @claerira
LinkedIn : (Click)