Want to create a flat pack eco interior? – Start here with cardboard…

oliver Furniture, Materials, Recycling / upcycling

As we near London Design Festival I’m sure we’ll be seeing a flurry of ingenious cardboard designs. Cardboard is a material that many designers love. It has a lovely warm, mottled surface, it’s easy to work, highly recyclable and has a high recycled content to it. I mean, what’s not to love? The only downside for the consumer is that it isn’t enormously durable, so it can wear quickly. But then, don’t most of us?

Anyway, enough of ageing disgracefully, here are some of the best cardboard products around.

Our UK “King of Cardboard”, Giles Miller, is once again proving cardboard can be stylish and sexy. Not words you would usually associate with it but take a look at these latest designs. These lamps and stunning wardrobe really show what you can achieve with this simple material. Miller’s also proving that cardboard’s not only good for packaging flat-pack furniture – it is flat-pack furniture! His “Flute Side Table” and “Exbox Chair” are pushing the limits of downloadable design. Flat and lifeless cardboard, structured into elegant and beautiful 3D furniture. Brilliant!

 If you think that’s impressive, take a look at this. The Nothing Agency has taken cardboard design to the next level, creating a whole office design. An entire suite built from cardboard, fitting their goals and matching the company’s name perfectly. It’s something from, well almost, Nothing. And even better, the whole office now acts as a giant blank canvas for the team’s ideas. It’s so clever I’m amazed nobody thought of it before.

 And if all this ingenuity is making you dizzy, have a lie down on the “itbed”. Swiss Design has created this light and portable folding bed, made from 7 mm thick cardboard. It folds away, accordion-style, to virtually nothing so it’s perfect for if you have loads of guests like us. It’s great for students and frequent movers too.

And last but of course by no means least i just love the sculptural cardboard forms created by Graypants, here’s a few of their Scrap Lights:

 and one from their Jupiter and Drum series

Of course these designs have only been made possible by the development of the low energy and low heat output of modern compact fluorescent lamps, this last lamp making the most of the wonderful balletic forms of the  Plumen light bulb -the first designer energy saving light bulb

When you see these amazing creations – it seems like cardboard is just too good to be simply resigned to the recycling box. Redesign is always better for your home and the planet!