Over the next few weeks we will be highlighting award-winning projects and ideas from this year's Core77 Design Awards 2012! For full details on the project, jury commenting and more information about the awards program, go to Core77DesignAwards.com
- Papernomad Sleeves
- Designer: Christoph Rochna
- Location: Vienna, Austria
- Category: Consumer Products
- Award: Professional Notable
Papernomad originated from the idea of designing and manufacturing environmentally friendly paperboard furniture as a promotional vehicle for open-air events: bio-degradable beanbags made of paper and filled with popcorn. With technical support from a leading Austrian company, we developed an organic paper composite, which is the basis of all our products. This tear and water resistant sandwich exhibited such great properties, that we did not want to confine its use to furniture. We set out on a quest for industrial niches where traditional materials could be replaced by our paper composite.
How did you learn that you had been recognized by the jury?
I received your Email late on Monday, the worst day of the week. My current office is located in Germany, therefore I am eight hours ahead of C77 office hours. I was about to go home when I checked my emails one last time. Sometimes I regret that because of some last minute request that screws with my schedule and forces me to stay and work. That evening I received your email, left the office immediately and went home with a big smile in my face.
What's the latest news or development with your project?
Some of our customers told us that they can't hold a pencil or don't like to doodle on their sleeves. This is why we have been running a Talenthouse contest, asking young designers to submit artwork for a printed papernomad edition. From more than 400 submissions we will choose one to be produced and sold in selected retail locations around the globe.
What is one quick anecdote about your project?
Assuming that Apple-Users are early-adopters, we decided early on to design our sleeves specifically for apple devices. That also reduced the spectrum of different models which we had to cater for. While discussing which color to choose for the wool felt inside the sleeves, we had a bowl of Granny Smith apples sitting on the table in front of us. With Apple users as our first customers, we took one of the apples to our supplier of wool felt and ordered the first lot of wool in 'Granny Smith.'
What was an "a-ha" moment from this project?
We discovered that people love stories. Everyone we told about our idea, cared about our story more than about the material composition of the product. Stories define our lives, our past and future; papernomads are much more than biodegradable cases for electronic devices. They are canvases for our thoughts and memories. Above a green conscience, the diary-like character of our products sets Papernomad sleeves apart from a mass of similar but soulless products.