Reusable Protective Packaging Could Do Away With Styrofoam Peanuts
Fragile by Mireia Gordi Vila presents a new way of storing and transporting goods safely.
Developed by product designer Mireia Gordi Vila, Fragile is a flexible and reusable packaging system that creates a new way of protecting fragile items when they are being stored or transported from place to place.
The packaging system consists of a case-like structure made of two connected pieces of framed, flexible membrane that create a supportive skin cover around valuable goods like collectibles and art pieces, regardless of their shape. The item is encased within the packaging system before the entire thing is placed inside boxes or carried on its own through a built-in handle. The packaging system allows the valuable item to be carried and transported from one place to another.
The designer also created a different version of the packaging for carrying bottles and vases. This second version suspends the item in a flexible external layer, which is then placed inside a standard poster tube. The two versions of the Fragile packaging are designed to be reusable and adaptable to different types of objects.
Gordi Vila describes her creation as “a standard for the non-standards” and explains that Fragile is “a flexible packaging system designed to be a reusable companion to the packaged object rather than a disposable skin – an inquiry into the materiality and the typologies of transport packaging for valuable goods.” The Fragile packaging is modular, reusable, and collapsible so that it can also fit inside other existing types of packaging.
The project started as an exploration into stretchable membranes and looking for the right composition and amount of materials needed to allow the membrane to support different items. The design of the packaging was also originally intended for extremely valuable items, but could generally be used for any type of deliveries.
The designer sees her design as something that can possibly be used by online sellers and shipping companies like Amazon or UPS. Goods are constantly being shipped individually from warehouses to customers and, according to the designer, Fragile crates can be re-collected the way glass bottles used to be collected. Customers won’t have to pay for shipping materials because the shipping companies or the warehouses will be able to own and reuse the Fragile crates.
Gordi Vila created her project for the graduate show at the Royal College of Art in London. The graduate show opened this week and will remain open through the end of the month.