I’m an extremely superstitious person. I never walk beneath opened ladders, I avoid cracks in sidewalks, I knock on wood and I toss salt over my shoulder, and I never walk indoors with an opened umbrella. While most of those things feel silly and more like games than genuine superstition, I choose not to open umbrellas indoors for reasons besides that. Brining dripping wet umbrellas indoors is one thing, but not closing them before entering is another. Opened umbrellas easily lose their essential tension, they also take up a lot of room and their sharp noses often poke passersby. Opened umbrellas are made by design to let water slide off and drop onto the ground, so when they’re left open indoors, most of the rainwater collects and seeps into carpets or produces mildew on wooden surfaces. Umbra, an umbrella drying design created by Ildar Garifullin, offers a solution for both the superstitious and annoyed umbrella users alike.
To find Umbra’s shape, Garifullin found its clean and curved inspiration from household designs like metallic kitchenware to more involved products like mid-size external graphics processor units. Finding inspiration for Umbra from household items allowed for Garifullin to subtly, but visually convey Umbra’s design purpose. A digital interface on top of Umbra’s removable lid presents weekly weather forecasts for Umbra’s users and an accompanying control panel positioned just beneath it. On Umbra’s digital interface, in addition to the on/off button, users can choose between a timed dry cycle, a silent fan, or sleep mode. Inside of Umbra, two compartments are made available for users to choose from, a taller space to dry longer umbrellas and a shallow pocket for collapsible umbrellas. When closed, umbrellas don’t seem to take up too much space, so theoretically, multiple umbrellas can be dried at one time with Umbra’s wide drying compartments.
Garifullin designed Umbra to fit into most households and with this in mind, Umbra’s final size is comparable to a family-sized kitchen garbage can. Once umbrellas are placed in Umbra’s drying tanks, the water collected from the umbrellas gathers in the unit’s lowermost, pull-out tray, which can then be discarded following the product’s use. Similar to most drying machines for clothes, Umbra automatically switches off, only further guaranteeing the product’s unintrusive nature. Additionally, Umbra’s silent drying method, along with its discrete shape, and overall clean appearance lets it easily blend into any environment without making too much noise.
Designer: Ildar Garifullin