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Chiara Zaugg Portfolio TREVO modular backpack system


modular backpack system

What could be more tedious than a backpack that doesn‘t offer enough volume to stow everything you need in it? Or the constant repacking for each new activity?

As a result of user surveys and our own experiences, the TREVO modular backpack system solves the most common problems we have with our everyday luggage. The exchangeable main volume makes it possible to quickly switch from everyday use to a leisure backpack without the hassle of repacking. The volume of the backpack can be expanded both when packing and on the go. If you don‘t need the whole backpack, you can take the essentials with you in a removable belt pouch. With TREVO you are prepared for every situation.




Zürich University

of the Arts
In cooperation with

Linus Potter (ZHdK), 
Claudia Zanetti (ZHdK), Lukas Frabboni (ETH)

applied skills

concept development
user survey
iterative work
model and prototype construction
creating and customizing sewing patterns

No repacking thank to exchangeable main volume
The main volume of the backpack can be detached from the back plate and replaced using a self-developed mechanism. Different everyday packages such as work utensils and leisure equipment do not have to be repacked but can be exchanged.

A flap system protects against unintentional removal of the individual modules. Once the security is released, the module can be removed by pulling the flap.

1   roll top
Integrated, spontaneous volume expansion

2   always with you-pouch
easy and fast access, detachable

3   backplate
laptop, tablet and document compartment, padded

4   main compartment
exchangeable to fit every activity

5   second compartment
exchangeable to fit every activity

6   utility bag
planned volume expansion

Waterproof and dirt-repellent Cordura fabric and waterproof zippers make the backpack weatherproof and durable. Innovative detailed solutions integrate elements such as the bottle holder into the overall picture.

Procedure in model construction and product development

An iterative design process enabled the development of a final prototype. Starting with a volume model, through several variations of textile models, the individually developed detailed solutions were combined to form the final product.

Quick sketches show the individual elements of the backpack as well as their carrying and handling options.

The blue arrows in the concept illustration show what changes can be made to TREVO to adjust the volume to your own needs. While the labeling of the volumes shows what content the individual modules are intended for.

Formal appearance

TREVO‘s modularity is not obvious at first glance. The modules form a unit that is perceived as a compact backpack.

Adapted to the needs of everyday life
TREVO offers enough space for everything you need in a day. A small pocket can be detached and used to always keep essentials with you. Side access to the main volume and well-thought-out carrying options make the handling convenient while the volume can be adjusted to suit all needs.

Sketching, sewing and 3D printing

Insight into the process of the TEREVO project. (Video by Linus Potter)


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