Bored Panda works better on our iPhone app
Continue in app Continue in browser

BoredPanda Add post form topAdd Post Search
Tooltip close

The Bored Panda iOS app is live! Fight boredom with iPhones and iPads here.

Eco-Responsible Furniture: This Bookshelf Can Be Reassembled Into A Coffin After The Owner’s Death
248.3K

Eco-Responsible Furniture: This Bookshelf Can Be Reassembled Into A Coffin After The Owner’s Death

Interview With Artist
ADVERTISEMENT

When we have a quiet moment to ourselves, we sometimes think about the world we’ll leave behind after we’re gone. Will the world be a better or worse place when you’re no longer in it? That’s one of the questions that drives people to consider the impact they have on the environment.

Designer William Warren created a set of bookshelves that will last you a lifetime: they can be reassembled as a coffin. In other words, the ‘Shelves for Life’ is a piece of furniture that will follow you on your final journey.

“The wood will color, the surfaces will mark and stain, and over the years and the furniture will become a part of you,” Warren writes. “When you die, the shelves can be taken apart and reassembled as a coffin. The brass plate under the bottom shelf, that tells the story about this transformation, is then flipped over and your dates inscribed on it.”

Scroll down for Bored Panda’s interview with Warren.

William Warren designed a set of bookshelves that can be reassembled into a coffin

Image credits: William Warren

Image credits: William Warren

Image credits: William Warren

According to Warren, people, in general, were at first surprised and then amused by his design. “It’s not everyone who sees the charm but some do. People are very pleased when they realize the designs can be downloaded for free.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The designer admitted that there have been critics who did not enjoy his work: “I offered the design to a Japanese company when I first made it but they really didn’t like the reminder of death. Since then, some squeal and some smile.”

Warren revealed to Bored Panda that he’s still busy working away as a designer. Among his recent projects, he designed all the furniture and interiors in a new children’s hospital in Edinburgh and new gates for Kew Gardens in London. “I’m also teaching design at several universities and developing other music and video projects.”

The designer added that “we are all going to die” at some point and there’s no need to ignore it or try to forget it. “If you don’t think about it in advance, you’ll be buried or burnt in a chipboard box with paper that looks like wood and plastic handles that look like brass. Your grieving family will pay £400 for this £40 piece of rubbish because nobody argues with an undertaker. Better to have something you’ve made, something solid and something that has lived with you in life and has the stains and scars to prove it.”

This is how you can convert the shelves into a coffin

Image credits: William Warren

ADVERTISEMENT

Image credits: William Warren

The eco-friendly shelves were first launched during the 2005 London Design Festival at the British Library and have made waves on the internet ever since.

Warren runs a furniture and product design consultancy, is a Senior Lecturer at London Metropolitan University, and also lectures at three other universities and colleges. His design philosophy is all about creating emotional experiences, making us think about our belongings, and his designs often feature humorous conceptual twists.

The designer has his very own set of ‘Shelves for Life’ and will send you a free personal design if you send him your measurements. According to Warren, these bookshelves will “store all your knowledge and prized possessions.”

He added that “it will be a visible part of your life and will get coffee stains and burns on it. So it will mean more when you use it as shelves and it will mean more when you are buried in it.”

Warren told the Financial Times that coffins are some of the most expensive pieces of furniture that people will ever buy while having the worst quality. “I’m happy for as many people to have mine as possible,” he said.

What do you think of Warren’s shelves, dear Pandas? Share your thoughts with everyone in the comment section.

Here’s how some people reacted to Warren’s design. A lot of folks loved the idea

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT
Share on Facebook
You May Like
Popular on Bored Panda
Start the discussion
Add photo comments
POST
emilyswenson avatar
sendmorerum avatar
Up All Night
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

How about download the design, cut the pieces, store them flat somewhere and when your time comes, your family can assemble it as a coffin?

Load More Replies...
shaynameidela avatar
Dorothy Parker
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I was surprised the designer is British. It seems more like a Scandinavian concept to me. And a brilliant one at that.

susan-herbert345 avatar
SoozeeQ
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I think this is a great idea. Coffins can be incredibly expensive, so this could help keep funeral costs down.

Load More Replies...
onemessylady avatar
Aunt Messy
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Well....that's f****d up. No I don't want to spend my life looking at my coffin, thanks.

Load More Comments
emilyswenson avatar
sendmorerum avatar
Up All Night
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

How about download the design, cut the pieces, store them flat somewhere and when your time comes, your family can assemble it as a coffin?

Load More Replies...
shaynameidela avatar
Dorothy Parker
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I was surprised the designer is British. It seems more like a Scandinavian concept to me. And a brilliant one at that.

susan-herbert345 avatar
SoozeeQ
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I think this is a great idea. Coffins can be incredibly expensive, so this could help keep funeral costs down.

Load More Replies...
onemessylady avatar
Aunt Messy
Community Member
3 years ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Well....that's f****d up. No I don't want to spend my life looking at my coffin, thanks.

Load More Comments
Popular on Bored Panda
Trending on Bored Panda
Also on Bored Panda