‘lifebook leaf’ concept laptop, designed by laura karnath and carl burdick

the ‘lifebook leaf’ concept, by american designers laura karnath and carl burdick, uses recent technological developments to reenvision the laptop production process in an environmentally conscious manner. the concept was shortlisted from over 1000 designs in our recent designboom competition ‘a life with future computing‘, organized in collaboration with FUJITSU.

the device consists a single flexible OLED touchscreen that can be used as a flat display or folded into a laptop form. a rubberized interior prevents scratching of the internal screens, while a polycarbonate exterior shell, sealed completely and featuring a waterproof zipper when shut, provides protection from water damage, a leading cause of laptop failure.

‘lifebook leaf’ features a 4G module to integrate communications functionality. three cameras built into the top of the device permit 3D photography as well as depth sensing, so that the ‘leaf’ may be controlled gesturally.

'lifebook leaf' by laura karnath + carl burdick   'FUJITSU design award 2011' competition shortlisted entry flexible OLED screens let the device be used either as a flat display or a laptop

to charge most efficiently,  the ‘leaf’ is opened to its flat display mode and turned upside down to expose its amorphous solar cells, although because the cells are located on the back of the device, charging is also accomplished relatively naturally when using the laptop outdoors. as the technology of solar panels advances, the designers hope that the use of an efficient CPU will permit the generation of excess power, permitting the ‘leaf’ to simultaneously charge other devices via USB.

a small OLED panel on the back of the device alerts users if messages or alerts are received during charging.

'lifebook leaf' by laura karnath + carl burdick   'FUJITSU design award 2011' competition shortlisted entry full view of the computer in ‘conventional mode’, as a laptop

in the words of the designers:

‘with our collective environmental crisis beginning to spiral out of control, designers can no longer design products which rely on energy and resources as if those things were limitless. the ‘lifebook leaf’ is an attempt to deal with these realities by utilizing recent advances in solar cells, flexible OLED displays, and advanced durable materials to create a highly efficient, solar powered laptop which is totally divorced from the infrastructures of the past.‘

'lifebook leaf' by laura karnath + carl burdick   'FUJITSU design award 2011' competition shortlisted entry the laptop features a small OLED panel on its back, displaying charging information and alerts

— those wishing to republish an excerpt of this article, please have the courtesy to link back to this original article, and to mention that the project was designed for the ‘FUJITSU design award: a life with future computing’ competition, organized by designboom in collaboration with FUJITSU. thank you.