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Adventures in Expedition Sailing, Saving the Ocean & Product Creation

Project: Patagonia x Hōkūle‘a


It is rare when a collection starts in the advanced research & innovation dept & stays true to the original concept x proto creation & the resulting work goes straight to market with such a meaningful purpose. Ocean health.


It is also rare when I get to talk about the product innovation work I did over several years in the #Patagonia ARD lab, the Forge.


This is the case with the new Patagonia foul weather collection. Created in partnership with the world class sailing crew Hōkūle‘a for their epic expedition Moananuiākea, voyage for earth.

Patagonia photo of the Kits

I co-created this collection led by former R&D Director Steven Yui. Some of my design work is on the W’s Kit! Together we created and oversaw the whole project as ARD designer & developer. Many cross functional partners brought this to life. We were given free rein to realize the full scope while diving into the details for it to match such a unique mission. It was developed from concept to be production ready in house using the Forge RP capabilities.


Deep listening to Ambassador needs/wants & the unique expedition requirements were a rich starting place. Connecting to company roots in paddle sports. Leveraging innovations & product/material tech to be sustainable & highly functional for an extended immersion in the field. Of course the wish to be beautiful, exceptionally crafted & sport/task specific with a flair of versatility. We worked really hard on the ergonomic fit & for the Kit to withstand extreme use & conditions. Comfort, protection, adaptability& ease of use were guiding factors. Integrating wins from the other depts like waders, alpine, snow, equipment, & surf. Creating a stand out suite of products that equally stand strong with Patagonia mission & aesthetics while entering new category territory.

Crew in action! Photo from Patagonia.

Translating the blend of requirements of the sport, crew & journey with industry advances & contemporary climate (social & environmental) with tried & true plus innovative solutions came alive here & it’s so great to see it! These are the moments that bring it all together.


We were deep in it when covid happened & things were paused. Stoked to see the trip using ancient sailing navigation rooted in cultural heritage & a deep connection with the ocean & planet is playing out with much excitement. Being impacted by global conditions further enhances the vision carrying forth profound objectives & an inspired purpose that address our shared present & future. The values are close to my own & the sense of contribution I feel is uplifting to be a part of. The opportunity to drive & engage with all parts & the people involved while holding PG brand integrity intact was a career highlight 100%.


The chance to be a part of this incredible culmination of vision, values & next level collaboration is what I love to do! Many of the team that worked on this have moved on from Ventura yet we’re all still connected in the industry & can be proud of this epic team work. See more in the comments! Many thanks to Patagonia peeps & the crew we worked with directly.

Polynesian Voyaging Society vessel Hōkūle‘a

Great interview with Gear Patrol & Patagonia here:


This is mission for #oceanhealth centered in #culturalsustainability is close to my heart!

Stay connected & learn more about the crew & mission here:


Moananuiākea, a 47-month circumnavigation of the Pacific Ocean by two traditional voyaging canoes, which set sail this past June. The Polynesian Voyaging Society (PVS) plans to sail its canoes, the Hōkūle’a and Hikianalia, over 43,000 miles using only traditional wayfinding methods, stopping in 345 communities across 36 countries to discuss facets of ocean health and share indigenous wisdom.


Support this meaningful society by becoming a member here.


Map of Voyage from Polynesian Voyaging Society

A terrific thing is that anyone can be part of history & a new movement in cultural/social & environmental sustainability & get your own Big Water Foul Weather Kit here:


ARD Sketch from Patagonia

Fun fact: Made from ocean plastic this fabric starts with #Bureo technology. Learn more here.


This truly is a creative adventure and love in action. Two faves things here at Mystic Peaks Studio. Thanks for stopping by! Let me know if you'd like me to share more of these #talesofthetrade. Wishing you a wonderful day :))


XONichola




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