Carl studiedGraphic Design at the world-famous Central St Martins College of Art and Designin London. While travelling on an exchange course to Australia, he met and flewwith some of the best kiters and teams of the time including Top of the Lineand High Performance. Carlʼs final year thesis concentrated on the physical andconceptual design of sport kites, specifically colour and pattern arrangementof panel graphics and how they affected the kitesʼ behaviour. Carl was one ofthe founder members of Airkraft, who were the first non-US team to win theWorld Championships in 1995. Carl has won the only Individual Quad-Line WorldChampionship, held in Dieppe France in 1998 (with the Rev 1) and recently wonthe World title in 2010 with Scratch Bunnies, the team he is now a member of.Carl has been making kites for over 20 years. He lives and works in Londondesigning and consulting on fabric structures for events and architects usingkites as his main inspiration.
"Before adesign looks good it has to function properly. The1920ʼs Bauhaus art movementʼsmotto "Form Follows Function" is central to the panel layout of this new Rev 1.Like the woodcuts and drawings of the Bauhaus, the image, in this case theoutline of the kite, is dissected and abstracted. The dilemma is: how do youmake the graphics work coherently with the outline and the flightcharacteristics of the kite?
Over the past5 years Iʼve explored the kites geometry and realised that the two halves ofthe kite dictate visual perspective. In order to illustrate this, a third lineis drawn from the outside edges to the centre point. Adding another set oflines perpendicular to the vanishing point line dictates rotation, and a gridemerges to base a panel layout on. Mix this grid with the iconic Lee Sedgewickgraphic and the composition starts to make sense."
Revolution 1fabric structure for performance.
"I havealways flown the Rev 1 as it is stable and you have more control in light andstrong wind than the Rev 1.5. With an Icarex sail and tight bungees, the kiteis as fast and as responsive as a Rev 1.5. I have modified the sail in a coupleof ways – extending the depth of the sail at the V so each half of the kite ismore connected to the other, which helps reverse flight. The other modificationis the increased and continuous curve in the Leading Edge, which helps controlthe Trailing Edge even more, with the added benefit of keeping the sail undertension in all orientations.
The graindirection in the panels is important and the correct layout in this designimproves the stability of the sail. Iʼve used rolled seams as these arestronger than the fabric itself, and they provide stiffness to the sail, whichagain helps to support the trailing edge. Each kite is sewn with accuracy to within2mm to ensure that each kite is true to the design."
"Each colour scheme is unique. Iʼvedesigned over 150 colour variations. There are various groups of colour schemesthat are based on Op Art, Stereograms or LudwigHirschfeld-Mack colour mixers. I just hope you likethe colours! The Revolution logo on all the kites is dark grey."
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