I’m beginning to think that our current (and future) resource quandaries and financial blahs are making hobos of us all. Not to say that we’ve all been turned out into the street just yet, only that the burgeoning sustainability movement has made us re-think the notion of disposable. Take the banal plastic grocery bag. Not only has this potent cultural emblem begun to go the way of the dodo, it’s also been re-appropriated into some fantastic designs (see Winter chandelier). In its stead, witness the newfound ubiquity of the permanent canvas shopping bag. Inspired by this cultural evolution, the team over at Molo has created an exciting product that doubles the utility of “bring your own bag”: The Hobo Lantern.
Hobo Lantern. Designed by Molo.
Portable Light Source and Carry-All in One
Molo has upped the ante for Hobo in more ways than one. The piece is a handy bag with an even handier handle made out of natural wool felt. The looped handle is the right length to dangle, and also spacious enough to cinch over your shoulder, so you can mix it up and thus relieve any strain caused by carrying your heavy burden of books, laptop, lunch, journal, phones, pens, etc… The top of the Hobo Lantern is cleverly designed with an elliptical orientation and integrated magnets so it closes shut without a moment’s hesitation. And the best is left for last: the “Lantern” in Hobo refers to the translucent LED fibres interwoven into the bag’s fabric that make Hobo “come to life,” as Molo says. The piece is inspired by the joyous itinerancy that takes hold of Milan’s Zona Tortona during design week. But long after that raucous romp has come to an end, you’ll have your Hobo Lantern for a recurrent and fond remembrance, as it not only totes your groceries, it lights the way back home as well.
About the Manufacturer: Molo principals Stephanie Forsythe, Todd MacAllen, and Robert Pasut are forever intrigued by the possibilities of what were once thought of as mundane materials. Their investigations into the nature of Tyvek, felt, and cork have resulted in revelatory products like Softwall, the Hobo Lantern, and the Cork Peg. Molo has achieved international recognition for this experimental spirit and the resultant products. Their work can be seen at MOMA and other museums and galleries across the globe.