With all the advancements in materials technology, cardboard has become more than just the “thick kind of paper” you use to make boxes or packaging. Designers are now exploring cardboard designs as a new material in their work since, aside from being environment-friendly, cardboard can both be flexible enough to conform to design and sturdy enough to be functional. It is a wonderful material for all of its virtues — it can be as light as a feather, as stiff as a board, and moldable into any shape a creative designer can imagine.
To show you just how cool cardboard design ideas have become, we compiled a list of 10 pieces of cardboard furniture pieces and gadget concepts that are sure to amaze you.
Refold Cardboard Standing Desk
Want to work right next to the window or even outside? No problem. This cardboard standing desk by New Zealand company Refold easily folds down into a carrying case and allows users to bring the cardboard furniture with them anywhere they want. Successfully funded via Kickstarter late last year, the cardboard standing desk weighs only 6.5 kg but is stable and sturdy enough to accommodate up to 85 kg. The desk is available in three sizes and users can also transform it into a sitting desk by changing the legs.
Refold Cardboard Designed Standing Desk | Gallery
Cardboard Design for Good: the Aarambh Help Desk
The Help Desk created by Bombay-based not-for-profit organization Aarambh is more than just a piece of cardboard furniture. It’s a life-changer for school children in rural areas of India. The Help Desk is a cardboard school desk that transforms into a book bag. Most schools in the rural villages of India lack desks and most of the children cannot afford basic supplies like school bags. Aarambh’s Help Desk is an eco-friendly and cheap solution to these specific issues. It’s cardboard design for a purpose.
Aarambh Helpdesk Cardboard Desk | Gallery
Cardboard Gadget Design: the Viddy Pinhole Camera
Who knew cardboard can be used to create a DIY functional camera? The Viddy Pinhole Camera by the Pop-Up Pinhole Camera Company is made of a cardboard pinhole body that has a sheet of film inside. The cardboard camera was created by Kelly Angood, founder of The Pop-Up Pinhole Company, and is designed for medium format and 35mm film. The camera comes as a kit and is available in green, black, blue and red color options.
Viddy Pinhole Camera | Gallery
Cardboard Furniture: David Graas’s Cardboard Designs
Dutch designer David Graas uses cardboard as the main material in many of his creations. He creates cardboard furniture like the Cardboard Lounge and Don’t Spill Your Coffee Table, and cardboard lighting like Not A Box and Not A Lamp. The lounge chair and the coffee table are made of pieces of heavy duty corrugated cardboard that are flat-packed and assembled by sliding the pieces together. The pendant light and lamp come as cardboard boxes with the lighting components inside.
David Graas Cardboard Design | Gallery
Cardboard Lounge Chair: the Vouwwow Chair
The Vouwwow chair by Amsterdam-based firm Studio Nuy van Noort is something of a cross between a folding chair and a lounge chair. The chair comes as a flat-packed piece of furniture and can be easily assembled or folded down. The chair is available in two models, a cardboard model and a PET-felt model. VW 01 is made of a single piece of honeycomb cardboard, which is lightweight, sturdy, 100% biodegradable and recyclable.
Vouwwow Cardboard Chair | Gallery
itbed Cardboard Bed
The itbed by it design is quite ingenious in its simplicity. It is a bed made of 4 mm-thick cardboard that is folded like an accordion. Its design allows the bed to be collapsed and folded into a portable form, making it easy to store or carry around. The itbed is available in two sizes and comes in two models: the itbed mattress which is designed for everyday use and the itbed futon which comes with an additional collapsible horizontal support.
itbed Cardboard Bed | Gallery
Shigeru Ban’s Cardboard Disaster Housing
The east Japan earthquake and tsunami displaced countless lives and evacuees had to take shelter in facilities like schools and gymnasiums. To help provide a sense of privacy among the families, the Voluntary Architects Network established by Shigeru Ban created a temporary paper partition system made of paper tubes and canvas curtains. The system is simple, flexible, easy to assemble and disassemble, easy to make, and easy to transport. Shigeru Ban is celebrated for his work with this material, having created many cardboard design concepts all the way up to a cardboard church. He’s the godfather of the form.
Shigeru Ban Paper Partition System | Gallery
Chairigami – Cardboard Design Furniture Boutique
Chairigami founded by Zack Rotholz designs and produces cardboard furniture suited for temporary set-ups and events. The company’s products are flat-packed, lightweight, recyclable, and cheap. Each piece of furniture is handcrafted and made of Triple Wall, a three-ply corrugated board made of 70% recycled cardboard and 30% FSC certified virgin fiber. Chairigami’s products include different types of chairs, desks, tables, stools, and shelves.
Chairigami | Gallery
EYEteleporter – Cardboard Perspective Shift
And now for something completely different. The EYEteleporter by Juste Kostikovaite is a periscopic device made of cardboard. The device displaces the user’s eyesight and allows them to play around with their vision and perspective. There are two models of the EYEteleporter: the EYEteleporter Mask and the EYEteleporter scooter. The mask is made of high grammage corrugated cardboard, mirrors, wood, and elastic bands. The scooter is under development and will have a chassis made of honeycomb cardboard.
EYEteleporter – Cardboard Perspective Shift | Gallery
Cardboard Design for Retail: the Aesop DTLA Shop
The downtown Los Angeles retail shop of skin care company Aesop has interiors andfurniture made of cardboard. The shop interiors were designed by Brooks + Scarpa Architects. The architecture firm used six-inch cardboard tubes to line the walls of the shop and create the furniture, including the lighting element and the counter and its drawers. To complement the design, the firm also used recycled paper for the countertops.
Cardboard Retail Shop Interior | Gallery
The things on this list are only ten of the many amazing objects and inventions that have been created using cardboard. Who knows what else can be brought to life using the material aside from cardboard furniture, house fixtures, and gadgets? What other cardboard creations should be on this list? Let us know below or send us a message on Facebook or Twitter.
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