Cardboard Furniture, Could This Replace Your Ikea Chairs And Bookshelves?
These pieces of refoldable cardboard furniture are produced by Chairigami, which was founded by Zach Rotholz using nothing but $5,000 of his bar mitzvah money as capital.
When you’re moving and you have a lot of IKEA furniture, you know what you should do. You should take it apart, transport it and then put it back together on the other end. You know this. You consider this. And then you create a last minute flash sale on Craig’s List, get whatever money you can from all that MALM, and re-buy down the line. Chairigami is trying to end this cycle.
Look on Rotholz’s site and you can see that he now makes a wide variety of relatively affordable products: sofas, desk chairs, standing desks, coffee tables, shelving, and even an iPhone case. The chairs last about a year, while the tables can make it up to four years. No glues or fasteners are necessary to put the recyclable items together–they all just fit into slots.
The concept is simple: the furniture is shipped to you in a box, like most other furniture, but when you won’t find typical furniture inside, though. Instead, you’ll find more cardboard inside, although of a tougher variety, as Chairigami is made from triple-wall cardboard.
Rotholz explains in an email that the original Chairigami chair was the most difficult piece of furniture he has constructed yet. “There is such a rich and diverse body of chair designs, it’s hard to design something original and in keeping with your own design philosophy,” he writes. “As I designed the first chair, I also developed my own unique design language using triple wall, slots, and folds.” After going through 10 iterations of the chair, the other furniture items came naturally, Rotholz says. “I only had to alter aspect ratios and repeat the design concept in various scales and orientations to achieve these pieces.”
Rotholz explains: “It was very grassroots. I tested and iterated as I went. A lot of the furniture ideas came from the website. People would come on the web page and give their suggestions.”
The Chairigami website, he says, “is going from a retail store to more of a portfolio–a place to curate my designs and show potential clients what I can do and how I’ve innovated.”