A foldable bike helmet made out of recycled paper has won the James Dyson Award, an international design competition open to current and recent design engineering students run by James Dyson—he of bagless vacuum cleaner fame.
The EcoHelmet was created by Isis Shiffer, a graduate of New York’s Pratt Institute of Design, from stacks of recycled paper assembled into a proprietary honeycomb structure with radial cells. When the helmet is not in use, it folds up like an accordion and packs up flat, resembling a wedge of melon, for easy transport. It’s also safe to wear for up to three hours of use in the rain, thanks to a biodegradable, waterproof coating.
More importantly, after testing at a crash lab at Imperial College London, the EcoHelmet passed the European safety standards. Shiffer hopes to sell the helmet at bike share stations—perhaps from a vending machine—for around $5. Its compact design is meant to make it easier for commuters and other casual riders to more conveniently keep a helmet with them at all times. Watch how it’s made below: