Recycled office chairs transformed into hard-shell backpacks and bicycle panniers

Rest design news

Old office chairs are being transformed into hard-shell backpacks and bicycle panniers as part of an innovative new project.

Thomas Howell-Jones, a Product Design Student at Birmingham City University, has created Rest, a new product which uses the backrests of discarded office chairs to form the durable, waterproof and impact proof bags.

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Birmingham City University

The sustainable solution converts the back of the chairs into a large bag which can be worn or mounted onto a bicycle.

More than 810,000 office chairs go to waste every year in the UK and Rest was designed in an attempt to slash the number which need to go to waste tips.

Thomas came up with the idea after collecting discarded office chairs in a bid to find a sustainable use for them.

After dismantling several chairs he found that the backs could be used as a protective container and after experimenting with various other products he successfully converted chairs of different shapes and sizes into uniform bags and bicycle panniers.

Thomas Howell-Jones said: “Realising that a backpack was possible from office chair waste was the turning point for the project. This allowed me to continue detailed investigation and development showing results seen today.

“Materialising the office chair backrest shell allowed Rest to be as functional as possible whilst also supplying an impact resistance and waterproof bag.

Thomas now plans to look at other waste materials which can be transformed into everyday use products, such as bicycle inner tubes.

Rest has already won the Stepping Stone award at the RSA Student Designs Award after a panel of judges commended the creation’s innovation and range of uses.

Courses in Product Design will be open to applicants in Clearing, from Thursday 17 August at

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