Imperial College London

For its new undergraduate course at the Dyson School of Design Engineering, Imperial College London chose sustainable furniture, which also delivered significant cost savings.

To create a visually stimulating, highly practical common room, while exploring more sustainable furniture alternatives (and ensuring value for money), the School turned to Rype Office, who designed the detailed layout and sourced the furniture.

More Sustainable Furniture

Rype Office combined a number of more sustainable furniture options:

  • Desks and a number of the chairs were remanufactured in England, bringing them back to as-new condition. Because the long-life elements (such as steel structures) are the most expensive components of furniture and have the greatest environmental footprint, remanufacturing them created significant cost and environmental savings.
  • Most of the sofas were sourced from the surplus stock of major manufacturers. This is brand new but returned to the warehouse for various reasons. For example, a number of the sofas were used for photo shoots for the manufacturer’s brochure. Surplus stock is often disposed of (to landfill or recycling back to base materials).
  • The few new pieces were chosen for their high quality and ability to be remanufactured – and commissioned from UK manufacturers to contribute to the UK economy.
  • The wall-hangings were designed to efficiently serve multiple purposes. While they are pieces of art in their own right, they are also acoustic panels and were also designed to bring together the furniture colour palette.

Cost Saving

Choosing more sustainable furniture also created substantial cost savings, demonstrating that more sustainable design logically drives economic savings.

Collaborative Approach

Achieving this cost and sustainable outcome saw the School collaborate closely with Rype Office.

“We work in a different way to other furniture companies,” notes Greg Lavery, Director of Rype Office. “We start with the broad client brief and budget and then source furniture from a range of more sustainable sources across our extensive network, iterating the design with the client as we find ideal pieces. The team at the Dyson School embraced this alternative approach because they could see the benefits which kept building every meeting.”

Inspiring Future Designers

We hope that this room will encourage our students to think beyond the traditional linear ‘take-make-waste’ journey of products towards more sustainable circular approaches, where every product has multiple lifetimes – just like the common room furniture.

Client Samuel McKenney, School Operations Manager at the Dyson School of Design Engineering was happy with the result:

We are very pleased with the design and quality of the office furniture that Rype Office provided for our new common room. Rype Office provided hands-on advice and design options throughout, which enabled us to find the ideal solution for our common room.



Rype Office helps clients to create beautiful, productive offices at substantial cost savings through good design and by using remanufactured and more sustainable office furniture.

Contact: 033 3358 3330 ore email