about
this website
dear visitor, 
 this website is titled 'making an inflatable tent'. Instead of what you might expect from a portfolio website - a glossy summary of a number of succesful projects - I chose to flip my most exemplary project inside-out. Not only because I spent almost 4 years full time on this single project, both as a designer and entrepreneur, but also because I felt that the process itself was at least as interesting as the final result. In this way, I think it highlights my qualities as an industrial designer the best way, pointing out that design is all about doing research and developing a proper understanding of the matter. This includes all the mistakes, the hours of sweat, and perhaps some lucky shots in between. The design process is sometimes rough, sometimes smooth. But altogether, it's the process where a design acquires its richness. This is where I believe design can become interesting. So why an inflatable tent? Well, after I graduated I got the chance to continue on the same topic; a circular tent design for music festivals. I figured that using only plastic film and air allows the tent to be recyclable, which could potentially be interesting for festival organizers. Over the course of 2014 -2018 I have been working on the development and launch of this new type of tent. In this process I partnered with Studio Ninaber in Delft, where I have learned a great deal about product development. We worked towards a product launch in 2017. A dream came true when a couple of hundred tents were finally used by festival visitors. In 2018, due to a number of reasons, technical and financial, I decided to end the project. Since then I have had time to reflect on the process. The goal of this website is to summarize this process, and to offer an inside view in the complexity and intensity of product development.
my graduation
In October 2013 I received my Master's degree of Strategic Product Design at the Technical University of Delft. The topic of my thesis was the design of a biodegradable tent for music festivals. As a student at the faculty Industrial Design Engineering I was very much interested in the latest developments of bio-plastics, and wanted to develop a new kind of product with these materials. Simultaneously, while sustainability became a more profound topic in the field, I became aware of a staggering waste crisis right in front of our doorstep; camping waste at music festivals. I fused these two elements together in the concept of a biodegradable tent, and started designing. With the title 'One Nights Tent' I began a startup, and started researching the business potential of the concept. At the same time I used this topic for my graduation thesis, with the guidance of Timo de Rijk and Bruno Ninaber van Eyben. I found that each year tens of millions of people camp at music festivals worldwide and about one in four campers leave their tent behind as waste afterwards. This creates tonnes of waste annually and is a nightmare for both festival organizers and their visitors, as for the environment and society as a whole. The need for a solution was (and still is) significant. During my graduation I attended several business plan competitions and won some prizes: New Venture 1st prize, BE.project Benelux 1st prize, Ready to Startup 1st prize, Philips Innovation Award ‘Best Idea’, Cleantech Challenge ‘Best Idea’. After this apparent success I decided to pursue this project after I graduated. With new insights, I started developing a fully recyclable tent (instead of biodegradable) using inflatable plastics. For this I received a valorization grant from STW that allowed me to research into the matter. Now all I had to do is make a tent.
me
My name is Joshua Klappe, born in Amsterdam (1986), acquired my Master's degree at the TU Delft in 2013, and then moved to Rotterdam where I currently live and work. For me the basis of design is material research. Trying to comprehend the characteristics of a type of material, and its processing methods, is the venture point of product development. In this I'd rather use the term 'formfinding' instead of the Dutch 'formgiving', meaning that the design will evolve over trial and error, just as long as you try and create the best circumstances, keep asking the right questions, and observe the outcomes carefully. A 'good' design reflects the level of understanding of the limitations and possibilities of any given problem, and combines all product demands into a single, clever, identifiable solution. The design process is a learning curve. Therefore, being able to jump into such a process is highly fascinating, and motivates me to investigate new topics all the time.  Studio Joshua Klappe Schiestraat 12 3013AH Rotterdam the Netherlands info (at) joshuaklappe.com
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