Thank you, very insightful. My father is a Landscape Architect (where i derived my love of the outdoors). Your project sounds very interesting in its own right. My project will go as far as i wish to push it, but I need to be focussed and not take on the world so to speak. I do not have the time, money, or experience to develop a full integrated system for any type of backpacking, and this should be individualized, not mass marketed. As an 'industrial' designer i am pushed to seek specific solutions that apply to broad sets. I want to stay specific to innovation on the integration parts, and to the shelter and the pack, and maybe the sleep system to be heavily considered.
This may clarify my intent more, though at this stage I am trying to balance being open and broad so as to not get stuck on assumptions or ideas that will hinder innovation, while still seeking a specific goal to strive towards. My questions will evolve as more specific once my target goal is actualized fully. I used the term "integration" as a more ambiguous term so as to not fall into the idea of a tent/pack combo as one unit. This, for many reasons presented already, is not a quality idea.
Primarily I am looking to find a shelter and pack that complement each other and "integrate" as much as possible, while maintaining the full benefits of individual systems. The structural elements seem the most likely subject for dual use in the packs and shelters, while the shelter its more likely to be on its own. I most like the idea of a fully modular system that adapts to the trip the user seeks, within boundaries.
My obstacle is the user group... I see the all out ultra lighter/thru hiker demographic to be not as viable for this idea, as the extent of the minimalism negates benefits of my ideas (good points from many readers on this like trekking poles and delicate items). The hiker/camper/"I backpack sometimes" is also not in my interest for this, as I see the needs of that user not concerned as much on weight and unwilling to cope with the minimal approach.
I see room for a happy medium that I consider my ideal goal for myself, and I could see many adopting. One that is of a minimal approach with room for simple luxuries while longevity, durability is not lost so as to keep the gear adaptable to a variety of applications (solo weekend light, couples, week long--short thru hike, and such). Not an introduction to UL, but a step above in the 30lb. max base weight. I think the modular/adaptive idea is very inviting, which will give the user say a simple kit, framed within tight guidelines, that let the user fine tune his/her self. This is the process of any avid backpacker, but the adjustments should allow scaling from solo short hikes, up to 2person week long unassisted (beyond a week, most thru hikes are assisted at least weekly). The brutality of the AT, PCT, and so on destroy gear, and is more of a lifetime goal for my user....thus the max test would look more like the Long Trail in VT or such.