‘Shelves for Life’ turns your bookshelves into a coffin

One man has designed bookshelves to last a lifetime… Literally.

‘Shelves for Life’ are designed by William Warren to allow a piece of furniture to be with you forever. They were first launched during the 2005 London Design Festival, at the British Library. Warren, a product design consultant and Senior Lecturer at London Met Uni, designs products that spark an emotional reaction; he often designs in order to make us think, and with tongue-in-cheek concepts.

“The wood will colour, the surfaces will mark and stain and over the years and the furniture will become a part of you.

When you die, the shelves can be taken apart and reassembled as a coffin. The brass plate under the bottom shelf, that tells the story about this transformation, is then flipped over and your dates inscribed on it.”

After their success at the festival William offered others the chance to make their own coffin bookshelves if they simply emailed him their bodily measurements.

Speaking to Bored Panda, William explained that society’s attitude towards death is unhelpful, and we should all address the inevitable at some point.

“If you don’t think about it in advance, you’ll be buried or burnt in a chipboard box with paper that looks like wood and plastic handles that look like brass. Your grieving family will pay £400 for this £40 piece of rubbish because nobody argues with an undertaker. Better to have something you’ve made, something solid and something that has lived with you in life and has the stains and scars to prove it.”

What are your thoughts, Reading Addicts? Could you see a piece of furniture every day that reminds you of your mortality? Would it be a good reminder to at least try to finish your TBR (to be read) pile before your inevitable demise?

Leave your vote

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.