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Haptic Lab Kites

Spend the Last Days of Summer Venturing Into the Wild Blue Yonder

Posted by Gestalten—08/2015

These Sailing Ships are colorful, whimsical, and fully flyable. Aerodynamic without remote controls or engines and constructed entirely without commercial factory parts or labor, these designs soar. Emily Fischer founded Brooklyn-based Haptic Lab to counter the rapid digitization of our lives and celebrate the real, physical world we live in. Her handcrafted kites are built together with Fair Trade artisans in Bali out of bamboo. They are inspired by traditional ships, sailing through air instead of water. Though they look delicate, bamboo has greater tensile strength than steel, and can shrug off crashes on beaches or grass. They are easy to assemble, you can learn how in this video.

Emily spent years researching kite history and traditions. Kite-making was her hobby while she worked as an architect for four years. After spending three months traveling through Asia meeting kite artisans and learning from them (how to balance a design, what materials to use, how to tie specific knots), she assembled her kite-making team. Her designs are inspired by the golden age of kite-flying that occurred around the turn of the nineteenth century. She shares: “There was a sort of ‘space-race’ as inventors, engineers, and governments competed to create the first manned flight. I wanted to create kites that captured that spirit. The only ones I’d ever flown were cheap plastic pieces that fell apart in an afternoon, and I was determined to make something beautiful that would last for years."

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Photography by Ana Santl