Designer Wins International Award for Foldable Cardboard Helmet

Kirstin Fawcett
iStock / iStock

Bike-sharing systems are everywhere these days, but most people don’t make a habit out of carrying a helmet. To keep cyclists safe, LiveScience reports that a designer, Isis Shiffer, has created a collapsible head protector made from cardboard that can be sold in vending machines and fit easily inside a bag. Shiffer was recently named the winner of this year’s James Dyson Award, an international student design award that's given to undergraduates or recent graduates.

The EcoHelmet is made from 100 percent cardboard, and it's coated in a material that makes it resistant to water. The secret to its protective powers lies in its honeycomb pattern, which can absorb the impact of a crash. It’s designed to cost less than $5, and it’s also biodegradable, so cyclists can purchase it—and dispose of it—without guilt.

Shiffer, an avid cyclist, was inspired to create the EcoHelmet after utilizing bike-sharing programs around the globe. "When I was exploring new cities I had no access to a helmet and I didn't want to spend $30 buying one," the designer told the BBC.

Shiffer was awarded £30,000 (about $37,000) to refine the helmet’s design. She hopes to pilot it in New York in spring 2017, and might initially provide it to bike-share users for free. Watch how it works in the video below, courtesy of Dezeen.

[h/t LiveScience]