It’s true that to a certain age, the box will provide more play value than the gift it stores. And that loveable kid Caine and his cardboard arcade both exalted this building material and brought us back the the carefree creativity of childhood (it really feels like genius emerges when we play, so why don’t we play more? But I digress…).
Even adults have been known to do surprising and inspiring things with this durable, recyclable material. Take a look:
Image via Crooked Brains
Designers are having lots of fun constructing usable, interesting furniture from cardboard. This one is Leo Kemf’s Speech Bubble Coffee Table. Kemf’s designs are inspired by Frank Gehry’s conceptual furniture, but made sustainably, and accessible to the average consumer.
Image via Art Boom
Australian Architect Toby Horrocks designed this furniture set – a bench and storage – when he asked himself to conceptualize how urban and rural environments can converge in a piece of furniture. I love the mix of strong and soft lines in this piece. Certainly a conversation starter.
Image via Inhabitat
Karton Art Design, a husband and wife duo from Hungary, invented a technique for constructing cardboard furniture using only cardboard and paperclips. She’s an artist, he’s a carpenter and together they’ve come up with some breathtaking designs that mimic techniques that include intricately carved wood. The designers say their furniture is as strong as wood and as light as paper. It’s pretty cool stuff!
Image via CalFinder
I think these drawers by Jason Schneider might be my favourite pieces. Such whimsy! And function! While these aren’t entirely cardboard – he does integrate some wood that is finished with an all natural milk paint.
Cardboard furniture is an interesting concept for sure. If you’re living somewhere temporarily or just don’t have the funds to invest in serious furniture yet, this is a unique alternative to the IKEA phenomenon. Once you are done with this, if you don’t have friends clamouring for the hand-me-down, you can just put this stuff out with your other boxes come recycling day!