Age of Reinvention: Campaign Chair

We were mightily impressed by the entries for the first instalment of our Age of Reinvention competition in collaboration with Pedlars. The first object to be reinvented was a Swiss Army groundsheet and designer Felix McCormack decided he would transform it into a chair inspired by utility, travel and the military

Felix says:

"Campaign chairs were designed with the purpose of being practical for travel. Historically it would have been a bespoke design made by a local cabinet maker for military campaigns. 

With this in mind I chose to use the Swiss Army groundsheet as the fabric for a bespoke campaign chair. The design enables it to be completely packed down and easily portable. The design uses the same concept as these simple seats whereby the weight of the person sitting provides the structure for chair, the heavier the person the stronger the chair will be. 

My design was inspired in part by the camping chairs I grew up with – chairs designed so you sit on the ground and the back rest is adjusted by straps. They are extremely lightweight and comfortable chairs. 

This was a fun project to think about, and despite it not being the winning idea, I think it's something I will make anyway!"

Felix McCormack is a designer and maker based in Cornwall. You can see more of his unique designs at

We will be announcing the second item on offer to be reinvented very soon – again, watch this space. #AgeofReinvention

Age of Reinvention

Do you have the inventor's eye? Have you ever looked at a seemingly commonplace item and dreamt up multiple ways to reinvent it? If the answer is yes, then step this way...



Over a century ago, Britain was known as “the workshop of the world.” It was a hotbed of invention and industry. After 100 years of decline, we’re seeing a real resurgence of craftsmanship – a return of traditional industries, swathes of makers taking risks to set up businesses based on doing what they love and buyers who value the story behind the products they buy.

To celebrate this new age of innovation, we are launching the Age of Reinvention competition – a chance for amateur inventors to furrow their brows, doodle on graph paper and transform old items into unique and practical products. The competition is brought to you in collaboration with our friends at Pedlars, purveyor of wonderful homewares, gifts and quality vintage, and The Good Life Experience, a festival of music, food, culture and the great outdoors.

Between January and August 2015 we will offer eight items for reinvention. Each month, Ernest Journal and Pedlars will choose their favourite design concept then post the item to the inventor so they can work their magic. Winners will be announced in our newsletter and we will then exhibit the eight completed items at The Good Life Experience (18-20 September 2015) and give each successful inventor two free tickets to the festival and a subscription to Ernest Journal. The first item on offer is a Swiss Army groundsheet – but what would you turn this into?

Item #1: Swiss Army groundsheet (150cm x 150cm)

How to enter 

Simply share a sketch of your proposed design with us on Twitter or Instagram, mentioning @ernestjournal and @PedlarsWorld and using #AgeofReinvention.

The deadline for your first design idea is 8 February 2015. 

If you have any queries, email

Terms and conditions:

1. The closing time and date is 11.59pm on 8 February 2015. Entries after that date will not be considered. 2. The winning entrant will be posted the item for them to reinvent and display at the Good Life Experience. 3. The prize is two tickets to The Good Life Experience and a subscription to Ernest Journal. 3. The prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative can be offered. 4. See our full terms and conditions.