Are you looking for an affordable all in one mobile workstation that is environmentally friendly, brilliantly designed, and undoubtedly cool? Well look no further than the GreenCase.
We usually don’t endorse products before we’ve gotten our hot little hands on them but the GreenCase is truly something special. Conceived of and designed by Mika Becktor (a Swedish transplant to the Savanna College of Art and Design) this cardboard laptop sleeve not only protects your laptop in transit but also unfolds into an ingenious mobile workstation with space to keep all of your peripheral gadgets safe and within arms reach. If cardboard isn’t your scene, don’t worry, Mika has already thought of that. He has also designed the BlackCase made out of leather and the GreyCase made out of merino wool felt. Fantastic!
Each case in the GreenCase collection is made from a single sheet of material, which is not only cool but also means it is incredibly sustainable. The design also allows you to pack up your work and go in a matter of seconds, perfect for a quick getaway (in case you spot zombies or Dr. Moriarty coming around the corner).
I got the chance to chat with Mika about everything from his design work to his love of salty licorice and the challenges of being a foreign student in the US.
How do you think going abroad for school has impacted you as a designer?
I had the option to stay in Sweden and study Industrial design in my home town where education is free but decided to come to the states where you have to pay for education and where they look up to Swedish and Scandinavian design. It sounds like a strange decision but it is the best one I have ever done. Taking classes and being around people from all over the world influences the way you think about design, gives you connections and opportunities that you would not get exposed to if you stayed at home.
What was your biggest challenge coming to the states to study and how did you deal with it?
I did not have any problem with understanding English, reading or writing but speaking and explaining my designs in English was a challenge when I first arrived. The more I did it, the easier it got (I didn’t have a choice really).
What was the most surprising thing about the states when you first arrived? Was there anything that you totally didn’t expect or that totally caught you off guard?
The amount of restaurants, fried food, lack of good chocolate, cheese and bread. Not food related would be how little Americans know about geography outside the US. No Sweden is not the same as Switzerland, Europe is not a country and yes if you go to Sweden you would be considered a foreigner.
Quick opinion, salt licorice vs. red licorice…go: There is no such thing as red licorice, I choose salt licorice for sure (djungel vrål) My American friends can’t stand it, they literally spit it out.
Ok, now on to the serious stuff. How did you come up with the GreenCase?
The initial idea came to me when I was home in Sweden last summer. I was trying to create the most basic laptop case out of one sheet of material for my own 15” MacBook Pro.
How long (and how many sketches) did it take you to come up with the final design?
I sketched up my idea, measured my laptop and started making working prototypes with fabric and eventually cardboard. Sometimes sketching products over and over again is the way to arrive at your final design but in this case I needed to see and experience how it actually opened and closed to evaluate its potential. The design has come a long way since then and is still being refined. I am also making cases out of Leather, Wool felt, and Cork, which changes the design slightly.
Let’s talk a little bit about your choice to make a case out of cardboard. What makes cardboard a good choice for protecting something as valuable as a laptop?
Cardboard is definitely considered a “low value” material which makes it a very interesting and contrasting material next to the high precision CNC’d aluminum body of the MacBook Pro. The idea was to offer a case that had a short lifespan and was very affordable. It can be used, abused, written, and doodled on before thrown away (recycled). This makes it ideal as a promotional piece, allowing potential costumers to try the design before investing in a more exclusive and longer lasting case.
What makes the green case a great option for students?
As a student you carry your laptop with you everywhere. Ordinary laptop sleeves only serve the purpose of protecting your laptop when carried from one place to another.
GreenCase is the ultimate laptop case for students like myself. It protects your laptop but it also conveniently opens up and offers an ergonomically sound workstation including a mouse pad, angled keyboard, ventilation to prevent overheating, scratch free surface for smart phones and it naturally clears the area around the laptop from coffee cups, pens, paper and other clutter. Since it is always in use, you simply fold up the four sides and you are ready to go.
Its appearance speaks for sustainability and recycling but it also stands out from the crowd. There is something extraordinary about protecting your $2000 laptop with a piece of corrugated cardboard.
Some people might still not be comfortable with the cardboard case so I made a leather version of the GreenCase. I call it BlackCase and it is made from vegetable tanned tooling leather, finished with natural based oils and leather balm containing bee’s wax to make it water resistant. This case will undoubtedly outlive your apple laptop.
Visit www.thegreencase.com to follow the process and get behind the scenes information, images and videos.
I am looking for funding through a site called Kickstarter, where people can pre-order my product at a discounted price to help me get off the ground. The project ends on Sunday April 1st so hurry up to pre order your very own GreenCase or BlackCase!
Personally, I can’t wait to get my hands on these laptop cases. Head here to watch Mika’s Kickstarter video and get one of the first ever GreenCases and don’t forget to check out the GreenCase Facebook page.