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‘A range of lightweight modular seating designed for a growing population and an ever-changing social environment’

Photo of Josh Renouf
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Increasingly fluid lifestyles, an ageing population and rapid urban growth are requiring a fresh approach to traditional notions of living. We have adopted a throwaway mindset, constantly accumulating clutter as our needs change and causing huge landfill problems as a result. As we move more often and migrate to the cities, consumers will increasingly expect products which evolve and adapt with the ability to be reconstructed, re-purposed and relocated as required to fit the ever-changing nature of their lives. 

We need to think about the full life-cycle of the products that we create, with in-built flexibility that mirrors the fluid nature of our consumer's lives; considering how we can turn the traditional notion of ownership on its head designing products with a service strategy at their core. 

Flexi-furniture is a range of beautifully designed lightweight modular seating for the home. However, rather than purchase the seating to own outright the customer hires the items as and when they need; reducing waste and allowing them access to beautifully designed furniture without the financial and environmental cost. The modular range is designed to fit any space, and elements can be added or removed as the customer’s needs change. The furniture will be locally produced and manufactured, enabling speed of distribution and limiting the ecological impact. In addition, a shared ‘ownership’ hire scheme enables groups of people living in shared accommodation to split the cost(Similar to Uber Split-fair when sharing journey's). 

Designed to last, the seating has in-built durability, however, once it is no longer usable in its current form it will be recycled, restored and repurposed and used to create other products which will feed back into the cycle.   

As part of the wider proposal, we will consider how we can utilise a percentage of the profits to fund the purchase of furniture for schools and accommodation in developing countries, where research shows there is a great need.

Which Nike Grind materials will your idea utilize?

  • Rubber Outsoles
  • Rubber Flashings
  • Rubber Granulate
  • EVA Foam Injection Scraps
  • EVA Foam Flashings
  • EVA Foam Sheets & Blocks
  • EVA Foam Components
  • Laminated EVA Foam
  • Laminated PU Foam
  • Mixed Apparel Textile
  • Mixed Footwear Textile
  • Footwear Fiber "Fluff"
  • Full Grain Leather Scraps
  • Split Leather Scraps Coated
  • Synthetic Leather

How specifically will these materials be incorporated into your solution?

The complete range of Nike Grind materials can be incorporated and repurposed into the proposed range of modular furniture. Through updated manufacturing processes, we believe through early R&D we can create sheet materials as a composite layer substrate to propose rigid surfaces. Utilising the latest PET technology to offer a sustainable, environmentally friendly and economically attractive solution to traditional processes of moulded plastics, we can repurpose plastic flakes by turning them into fibres and formed into soft shell seating. We aim to celebrate the Nike Grind materials - therefore having the most amount of mixed material ground down and form. • EVA Foam Injection Scraps • EVA Foam Flashing • EVA Foam Sheets & Blocks • EVA Foam Components Second to this and for bigger pieces of furniture that require comfort with cushions we will look to use 100% of the waste materials through upholstery in cushioned seating among others. A lot of the cushioning already comes from a mix of foam, horse hair, feathers and fluff as it is - therefore we are certain we can make this with the following materials: • Footwear Fiber “Fluff” • Full Grain Leather Scraps • Split Leather Scraps • Rubber Granules/ Flashings • Synthetic Leather Scraps • Mixed Apparel Textile • Mixed Footwear Textile (We’d make sure we test these fillings in order to maximise comfort.)

Please include a visual (can be either 2D or 3D) representation/prototype of your concept. (required)

What is the current stage of development of your idea?

  • Research & Early Testing
  • Prototyping

Describe your target market. Who will benefit from your product?

Our product is designed to suit the needs of a rapidly expanding and agile urban population. In the short-term our target audience will be focused to the B2C domestic market, particularly Millennials (and increasingly Generation Z) who move regularly, expect immediacy and convenience and seek a lifestyle which prioritises eco-consciousness. In the longer term we would look to expand our reach to target a B2B audience.

How will you scale your idea? Please describe in detail your plan to scale your concept.

In the long-term we will look to partner with companies such as Airbnb, WeWork and educational trusts to expand our offer to suit the needs of office spaces, schools and the contract furniture market – all of which require high volume, fast turnover and a low cost of hire. This can be scaled further to offer a service to suit permanent and temporary event environments, replacing moulded plastic seating found within sport and event arenas worldwide.

How is your idea innovative?

We provide a cost-effective way for people to have instant access to beautifully designed furniture without the financial and environmental cost. The agile tiered service strategy means that our customers have only what they need at that time. Local manufacturing and distribution keeps the environmental impact at a minimum, contributes to the local economy and allows us to react at speed to mirror our customer's ever-changing needs.

What inspired this idea?

Rapid urban expansion, changing demographics, increasingly fluid lifestyles, need to provide products which speak to consumers longer term lifestyle and environmental concerns. We believe that there is a clear shift in world’s economic model, from one based on ownership, to one based on sharing.

Tell us about yourself and your team. What is your background and experience?

We are a team of three British innovators – comprising of two Designers and a Creative Strategist motivated by a desire to explore new ideas and inspire change. Between us we have been lucky to have worked with a large number of global brands and now

In what city are you located?


In what country are you located?

United Kingdom

Please describe how becoming a Top Idea will support the growth of your concept.

It will be hugely beneficial to enable us to develop and scale our idea quickly in order to solve a clear problem and ultimately help provide support for schools in developing countries.


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Photo of Josh Renouf

Hi Harry Dodge thank you so much for your kind feedback! Hopefully Nike/IDEO think the same!

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