Virtual Design Festival

Portable Compulsion by Isabel Helf

Portable Compulsion by Isabel Helf

Isabel Helf has created a collection of bags named Portable Compulsion that reference illnesses associated with compulsive orderliness.

Each Portable Compulsion handbag features a shape that relates to a specific furnishing or fixture, such as a step or shelf. Like a lock-and-key mechanism, this allows it to seamlessly slot onto the associated furnishing to be neatly stored away.

It is intended to offer a form of behavioural therapy for people experiencing obsessive-compulsive personality disorder, who come up against excessive concern for perfectionism and orderliness.

Alternatively, it can function as a piece of usable art or space-saving device for minimalist homes.

Helf's design is achieved through a combination of solid materials like wood or brass, which mimics the shape of the associated furnishing, and soft leather for the rest of the bag.

"My work and products aim to tell a story and the concept behind it in a very practical as well as emotional way," said the Vienna-based designer.

"The focus lies within small details and surprising elements throughout the work, which will be noticed through their functionality."

Helf is one of 15 designers who have been selected by, a platform that promotes designers from Austria, to exhibit work at Virtual Design Festival.

Design: Portable Compulsion
Designer: Isabel Helf
Contact address: [email protected]
Instagram: @isabelhelf

VDF x is a non-profit organisation that promotes contemporary Austrian fashion design. Virtual Design Festival has teamed up with the organisation to present accessories and fashion designs by 15 designers who were born or are based in Austria and produce their products both sustainably and locally. Explore the other designs here.

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Portable Compulsion by Isabel Helf
Portable Compulsion by Isabel Helf
Portable Compulsion by Isabel Helf