The Hamper Pack >> IHA Student Design Competition

Hello everyone:

I am usually around here posting footwear sketches in Sketch-Fu, so I decided to switch it up a bit. I wanted to share a softgoods product I designed for a school project and entry into the International Housewares Association (IHA) student design competition. A brief description and overview image of the project are below:

The Hamper Pack aims to eliminate the clutter and mess caused by traditional hampers in the small dorm room environment. The key features of the design are the molded rubber laundry port and coin slot. As the pack hangs on the door, the user inserts dirty laundry through the rubber laundry port. The rubber coin slot allows the user to deposit quarters and have them readily available, eliminating the need to search for money on laundry day.

The Hamper Pack is a unique design that utilizes door space – rather than floor space – for dirty laundry. A plastic hook allows the pack to hang over any door, and its molded rubber laundry port and coin slot make it easy and convenient to use. The dual-layer stretch mesh provides ventilation and expands to accommodate large loads of laundry. When it’s laundry time, the pack is worn like a backpack to the laundry room. Additional features include a single-sling strap and padded back for comfortable transport. Its simple unloading functions make it compatible with any type of washing machine. The Hamper Pack is ideal for any small room, dormitory, college student, or teenager, as it conserves floor space and makes organization easier.

I ended up winning an Honorable Mention in the IHA student design competition, which I was very pleased with. Now I am looking for feedback on improving the design and taking it to the next level (maybe a summer project in my free time?? :smiley: ). Here are some suggestions I received from my IHA competition evaluators:

  1. Try to integrate a hanging system into the pack itself, rather than having a separate hook piece that can get lost in the messy dorm room.
  2. It would be nice to be able to see how many quarters are in the coin slot. :wink:

Below I attached an image spread of my IHA entry booklet; it covers my entire process, from research to final product. Feel free to scroll through it. Thanks for any feedback and criticism.


I was wondering if/when you were gonna put this back up.
I really dug your process, liked how insights clearly led to thoughtful solutions (coin slot) and the sketch explorations / visuals of all your ideas were great to see. I would also have to agree with the 2 comments made :smiley:
particularly integration of the hanging apparatus.

keep up the good work, look forward to seeing the revisions!

Great process and cool idea! I love the hamper turns backpack concept, the coin pocket, and the quick dump into the washer - quick and easy. I agree with the two comments from IHA as well.

I would also add that the loading process (putting dirty clothes in the bag daily) does not seem very accomodating in the final concept. Some of your early ideas showed an ‘open’ position when the bag is hanging that would make initial loading easier. Maybe a wire frame in the opening would give it some stability and better facilitate the hamper mode.

Overall, the ‘hamper’ mode seems secondary to the ‘backpack’ mode. Maybe it should be the other way around?

Nice project!

As stated, great example of process! Thanks for posting it.

Congratulations on winning Honorable Mention!

Another thing you should consider is washing the Hamper Pack itself. Over time that thing will get ripe with all kinds of smells, especially if you’re the athletic type. I wouldn’t want to haul a smelly load around on my back getting my clothes and/or jacket that I’m currently wearing dirty. Nobody wants to strip down at the laundry mat, that is unless you’re looking for a date. Which brings up another point, carrying the clothes home in a dirty Hamper Pack would be an issue as well. Maybe add a second sleeve for the trek home with the clean clothes. You should also add in a divider for whites and darks to keep them separated. Maybe make the divider removable. Finally, add some expandability for larger loads, as well as compression straps for smaller loads. Just a few suggestions and a little food for thought.

Once again, excellent process + presentation skills.

excellent point, putting your fresh clothes back into a funky funky funky funky
funky funky funky bag is bad news.

nice project and congrats on the honorable mention. as Yo said, great process work, sketches and explanation of the concept/thinking behind it.

my only thoughts are (some have already been mentioned, i know)-

  1. would be good to have the fabric bag come off the structure somehow to also toss it in the laundry.

  2. wheels? that big of a sack full of clothes can get pretty heavy.

  3. maybe some sort of internal division of compartments (ie. whites/darks/lights) could be easily achieved with mesh dividers so that you can sort when you toss things in, instead of having to pull everything out at the laundromat.

overall, very well done.


That is hot.

I agree about the fresh clothes/funkeee bag. Seems like a quick materials change.

Awesome Awesome stuff.


Great process and overall project! I agree with most of the comments made. A linen bag with some skeletal elastic ribbing could be interesting. The material would tie it more to it’s purpose/function at first glance and the elastic (the way I am envisioning it) would allow it to expand while providing a modern and updated look…plus you could wash it. Great work though. Congrats!


Wow, thanks for the great feedback and comments everyone! I really appreciate it. From what everyone is saying, I think the first issue I am going to focus on is the “funky bag” dilemma (haha :smiley: ). Right now I am thinking about a removable liner that can get thrown into the wash with the clothes. I like the idea of the dividers as well, for easy color sorting. I hope to get some sketch explorations of these new ideas up here soon-- classes are ending so I am pretty busy with final projects, but I may be able to throw down some quick sketches in my free time. Thanks again for the help!


Hey guys:

Sorry, but I haven’t had any time yet to do some ideation/revision sketches of my Hamper Pack design. I just wanted to share a link to a new MSN slideshow/article that showcases the Hamper Pack and other student designs from the 2008 IHA competition. A writer from MSN was nice enough to put this together and give us students some press. Enjoy…