Co.Design

Flat-Pack Magic: Ten Amazing Folding Chairs

Seven chairs made of single sheets of plastic, cardboard, and foam--and which take just seconds to assemble.
flux chair

Folding, flat-pack chairs make sense in our carbon-conscious age. They require relatively few materials to make, and they're far more fuel-efficient to ship. Here are seven takes on the theme:

The Flux, which debuted this year at a Dutch furniture fair, is easily the best-looking of the lot. Made from a sheet of plastic, it folds up so that you can carry it like an over-sized briefcase:

One classic assignment for student industrial-designers is to make a chair out of cardboard. James Schaffroth, a student at RISD, managed to create this amazing chair/desk that supports 200 pounds:

Eric Ku's Chair/Chair is made of five pieces, which spell out the word:

Eric Ku
Eric Ku

Another carboard chair, by Elias Kulukundis, which was inspired by origami:

Another cardboard chair, but you can buy this one. The unfortunately named Flexible Love Chair sounds like something you'd find at an orgy, but it's nonetheless a miracle of adaptability. The accordioned, honeycomb structure can be fit into almost any shape:

Andrej Blazon's Charity Chair was designed to resemble the hat traditionally worn by an order of charitable nuns. The project is open-source, so anyone can download the plans and make the chair themselves from found materials, thus making it uber-local, and carbon-light:

Andrej Blazon

Sara Paculdo's Flat Chair won't win any beauty pageants, but it's a fascinating experiment. The piece is made just of laser-cut foam; the final shape emphasizes the way that the chair distributes the sitting forces--the entire structure is (purportedly) under constant tension, which allows it to support weight:

Sara Paculdo
Sara Paculdo

Omri Barzeev, a recent design-school graduate, has a knack for folding stuff into chairs. The back of his Zaza chair starts as a single sheet of plastic, which he then covers in felt and folds into shape. The legs of the chair are basically one huge clamp, holding the backrest/seatpan together:

Omri Barzeev

Christian Desile's folding chair was an award-winning standout at September's Maison & Object, France's largest furniture fair. It folds remarkably flat for storage, in a cart or on a wall:

Christian Desile

You weren't tired of cardboard chairs were you? Whew. Tom de Vrieze's Kraftwerk chair, which recently won DesignBoom's carbboard chair competition. (He kind of cheated though--the chair is filled with expanding foam.)

Tom de Vrieze
Tom de Vrieze

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