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Sa Umbrella

Sa Umbrella is the conventional umbrella reimagined. Beyond its completely new canopy design, it also innovates with its environmentally conscious material choices, a new internalised handle mechanism, a magnetic closure system, and an integration of many other groundbreaking new features.


Justin Nagelberg
United States

Combining ‘canopy’ with ‘functionality’, an origami-inspired structure provides both simplicity and strength in form. Like origami, the Sa Umbrella uses planar tension to generate its form. The inner and outer canopies expand and contract in unison to open and close the umbrella. Since it finds its roots in origami, the name ‘Sa’ is derived from the Japanese words ‘kasa’, which means umbrella; ‘same’, which means rain; and ‘sasu’, which is used to describe holding an umbrella.

This new design allows for a simpler, lighter and more refined approach to the umbrella. Since there are no exposed moving components, the umbrella is less prone to external damages and therefore, longer lasting. Furthermore, since the material is flexible, the structure can easily maintain structural soundness, even when exposed to high winds. To ensure structural rigidity and strength against wind, the six guiding panels, which replace traditional rib supports, will be internally reinforced to assure stronger wind resistance from the very tip of the canopy to its farthest edges. 

This is the first umbrella to use a fully internalised mechanism. This is possible because the distance between the open and closed positions on the Sa Umbrella is shorter than that of traditional umbrellas, removing the need for any exposed slider components. Beyond that, the panels have been designed in such a way so that the tips of the umbrella are less pointy, and thus, safer to walk around with.

The magnetic closure system allows for an effortless, consistently tight, full closure of the umbrella. When opening the umbrella, the magnets will naturally release themselves as the outward force increases. To open a Sa Umbrella, the user simply has to rotate the bottom of the handle. The spring-loaded mechanism will open the umbrella automatically. To close the it, pull on the handle, just as one would with a pinball machine. The handle will retract.

All parts of the canopy, mechanism, and handle are made with highly recyclable, eco-conscious, waterproof plastic polymers. Although plastic is often considered a disposable material, its impermeability, lightness, strength, and longer lifespan makes it ideal for an application such as this. All other components of the umbrella, such as magnets or springs, are also sourced with the greatest care so as to remain as recyclable, reusable, and as environmentally friendly as possible.


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