Adam Barron

Promising designer Adam Barron's recycled seatbelt chair earned him top marks in UncommoGoods' second YouGoods competition in 2010. What began as an industrial design-class project at the University of Cincinnati, blossomed into an award-winning product that wowed the Uncommon Goods' community.

Required to incorporate at least three of the Japanese design principles - humor, craftsmanship, compactness, asymmetry and simplicity - Barron began with the frame before setting out for materials. "[B]ased on time, money, material, and space restraints, I...started exploring different materials and wanted to use a thin and minimal material that would let the ergonomic research that I did on my frame speak for itself," says Barron.

He gravitated toward repurposed seatbelts as a thin, sturdy fabric, and began making trips to the junkyard. "It was an interesting experience, because most people were rummaging through cars looking for spare tires or mechanical parts... and I was walking out with grocery bags full of seat belts." After trial, error and one product development process later, Barron and UncommonGoods are proud to offer the seatbelt chair in August 2010.