The French EXOD that suddenly appeared overturned the conventional wisdom of tents. Developed the next generation inflatable shelter and announced the first model "ARK" in 2019. The innovative style that floats in the air has shocked outdoor enthusiasts around the world. Two years later, the new work "MONOLITH" will finally land in Japan. We interviewed founder Dorian Fleuri to find out more about the current state of French outdoor activities, their ideas behind their products, and their future goals.
It all started with a solo trip around the world in 2012. During the last 293 days, crossing 34 countries, I drew the first sketches of the original shelter for EXOD.
Prototype of the first model "ARK" announced in 2019
wanderout (hereafter W)
When I saw EXOD's modern design, French surf culture had already created a new sense and was attracting attention around the world, so I felt that the outdoor scene was more free and advanced to the next generation. . I could understand at a glance that the idea wasn't from a typical tent, but this unique idea was inspired by travel and actual experiences. After testing the MONOLITH several times, I was really surprised by how comfortable the floating flatbed felt. We tend to focus only on the design, but I also noticed the detailed consideration of the user's point of view.
In recent years, the French outdoor scene continues to change. With the popularity of outdoor sports such as surfing, kitesurfing, and splitboarding, people are motivated to stay near spots. This new generation was very interested in design and innovation, and it was necessary to combine beautiful design and taste as well as functionality as gear. The idea for inflatables and skeletons came from my experience designing an inflatable kite for kitesurfing for a friend in the south of France. It becomes a completed form with a slight pump operation, and storage is very compact. In addition, the extremely high specs that assumed severe weather conditions (sand, wind, seawater) and even crash accidents were greatly utilized in the development of EXOD.
The obsession with floating in the air is that no one has ever dreamed of escaping gravity and sleeping on clouds. It combines the goodness of a tent and a hammock and leads to the realization of a superb flatbed structure. In addition, by creating a large luggage compartment under the bed that can be accessed from the inside and outside, it is a completely new structure that creates a thermal insulation effect while safely storing all your belongings.
Remove the outer and flat bed with all mesh
For new products, quality is a point of concern. There are many high-quality parts developed independently, so what do you think about the balance between design and durability?
The selection of high-grade materials was essential not only for user safety, but also for durability. The design is intentionally timeless, and we take care to ensure that you can use it for a long time. MONOLITH's waterproof and breathable material is developed with Japanese partners. Bluesign®, an international certification for textiles, guarantees that no harmful substances are used in the production process and sets strict standards for energy and water consumption. Parall with 2 carbon rods is manufactured in collaboration with a professional manufacturer of carbon tripods. The Nfinite strap is made from a 'seat belt' type fabric with a load capacity of several tons.
LABEL bluesign® 30D 2-layer ripstop nylon
PARALL™ CARBN 3K carbon fiber
Pursuing everything such as design, details, materials, etc. without compromise will result in high costs, but I think that users are looking for value that empathizes with and supports the brand's philosophy and efforts. . I feel that with EXOD, but are there any points that you are conscious of?
Most manufacturers have a marketing plan to plan the selling price, chain up and look for ways to save money, and reach a strategic price. On the contrary, by making products responsibly, we are able to determine the selling price without sacrificing even a single point of quality. We also try to differentiate ourselves from our competitors by producing in small lots so that there is no unsold stock. We may be inferior in terms of price, but we are not inferior in terms of ethics.
Passion is the greatest driving force. From the testing stage, we worked hard to create a very enthusiastic community and produced about 20 prototypes. It took more than 5 years, but we are building a reliable partner and production ecosystem. We are currently entering a new phase and would like to convey our activities to more people. Working with wanderout is the first step. It will be the beginning of a long adventure.
EXOD / MONOLITH SHELTER PROTOTYPE TESTING
I am very much looking forward to the future development. Finally, please tell us your vision for the future.
From 0 to 1, from concept to reality, one of the most difficult steps has been accomplished. We take great pride in manufacturing and receiving favorable reviews from our customers. My notebook is full of ideas and new concepts for the future. We continue our adventure with the phrase "Innovation at service of escape" in our hearts.
EXOD / MONOLITH SHELTER > Online store
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This time, he introduced the "most important thing for innovation" behind the EXOD brand.
wanderout is a project that started with the aim of becoming a compass for a society where people and nature coexist. In the Journal, in addition to introducing products and articles about lifestyles, as a special feature, we would like to hear from people who are doing activities that we want to model, learn how to live in the future, and share it with everyone. I'm here.