The umbrella is a remarkably enduring piece of design, yet it still has a long way to go.

One major hitch with umbrellas? When it's time to go inside, the rain-exposed exterior drips water everywhere.

This umbrella--called the Unbrella--by Japanese studio H Concept resolves that issue.

It has an inverted design, with the framework on top of the shade instead of underneath it.

It's made of reinforced glass fiber to give it strong wind resistance, and the ability to stand upright to dry off.

The Unbrella costs about $95, and will be available in the United States in spring 2014.

A Clever Umbrella That Won’t Get Your Stuff Wet

The latest in rainy weather innovation: the Unbrella.

The umbrella is a remarkably enduring piece of design that has somehow remained flawed since it first appeared in Paris in the early 1700s. The basic umbrella does a fine job for anyone strolling in a rain that’s falling straight from the sky to the ground. We’ve seen updates meant to resolve the problem of rain and wind, but what about the issue of taking dripping umbrellas indoors?

This umbrella by Japanese studio H Concept has reinvented the ubiquitous accessory so that it no longer leaks rainwater onto the floor.

It’s the Unbrella, and it has an inverted design, meaning the framework usually found on the underside of the umbrella shade now sits on top. Instead of collapsing downwards, toward the user, the Unbrella folds outwards, trapping all the excess rainwater inside and away from its owner. Industrial designer Hiroshi Kajimoto--who spent a decade improving the design--built the Unbrella with reinforced glass fiber to give it strong wind resistance. Luckily, that fortitude also allows the Unbrella to stand upright, and dry off by draining rainwater.

The Unbrella costs about $95, and will be available in the United States in spring 2014.

[h/t Spoon & Tamago]

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4 Comments

  • Bryan Day

    Love the idea. Only question I have is whether or not there is any risk to creating a nice moist environment for algae and other life inside the unbrella when closed. I would imagine that it wont dry nearly as fast being all folded up. If this is a non issue, then I see this idea having a good amount of utility as well as giving designers more creative real estate in the now exposed frame. Fun stuff!

  • justinTimeAgain

    Great question. Perhaps they could solve this problem using hydrophobic coatings or materials. Liquipel is one brand name that comes to mind. They coat phones in a nanofilm making them hydrophobic/water-resistant. Perhaps anti microbial micro-structure along with nanofilm technology could easily resolve this design flaw.