WHAT: Origami on the open water
WHY: Go from briefcase to boat in five minutes
At first sight, the Oru Bay ($1,275) almost seems imaginary. Maybe it is the translucence, or the fantastical folding. Company founder and designer Anton Willis has combined two ancient art forms—boatbuilding from the indigenous Inuit of the Arctic and origami from Buddhist monks in Japan—to invent the Bay, a kayak that folds up for easy carrying and storage. Made from a seamless sheet of double-layered plastic, the 26-pound boat has a patented folding pattern that enables it to collapse into a 32-by-28-by-13-inch box. Reversing the procedure, setup time is only five minutes. Impressed? So was the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, which added one to its permanent collection.