Issue date: 17 April 2008
James Dunlop, a graduate from the University of the West of England, will launch his myhab
design at nine festivals this summer. myhab
is an environmental alternative to a tent that James designed as part of his final year project at UWE in 2006.
caused something of a media storm when it was promoted by UWE and James Dunlop secured backing from sponsors MINT very soon after graduating as well as a clutch of design awards from New Designers 2006, Enterprising Young Brits and Bristol Design Festival. He has spent the time since setting up his own company and developing and marketing his myhab
is a reusable framework made of recycled plastic with a treated waterproof cardboard cover that can be personalised. James said, “One of the inspirations behind my design was seeing the wasteful debris of tents left after the 2005 Glastonbury Festival. The beauty of the myhab
is that it is erected on site before you arrive at a festival in a special enclosure with showers and toilets nearby especially reserved for myhab
users. When the festival is over the myhab
is dismantled, the plastic frames reused and the cardboard covers recycled so it really is a green alternative to a tent and a lot less hassle.”
Speaking about the success of his company since he graduated James said, “It's all happened so fast. In some ways the entire project has been like an extension of my dissertation but with selling and production development thrown into the mix. To think that I had planned to take a gap year and go snowboarding when I left university seems like a bit of a joke now. I can see that myhab
has quite limitless potential to go global. There has been significant interest from Europe and the US and I am thinking about putting together a bid for a myhab
field for the 2012 Olympics as there will be a need for low cost accommodation. This year I'm working with nine festivals but I can see that next year will be much busier and that we will need to expand quite rapidly to accommodate the growing demand.
“My time at UWE really did set me up – the Product Design course opens your eyes to possibilities and how innovative you can be. Apart from the very thorough design training there is a crucial focus on learning how to present professionally. I know this training was critical to helping me get my initial sponsorship from MINT as I had learned how to prepare and plan and to anticipate questions. The tutors are all fantastic and I was given so much initial support after my design won a prize at New Designers to take it forward.”
Tod Burton, Product Design Programme Director at UWE, said, “It's very rewarding for the entire product design team to see how far James has taken his graduation project; developing a successful, viable product that has good sustainable thinking at its core. His success is a real inspiration for those students currently completing their own projects.”
is coming to a field near you at T in the Park, Oxegen, Latitude, Wickerman, Reading, Leeds, Hydro Connect, Electric Picnic and End of the Road.