Cardboard Furniture- Honeycomb collection
The Honeycomb series of cardboard furniture features the Radiolaria sofa and the Bravais armchair. These furniture pieces have been meticulously crafted from locally sourced corrugated cardboard. In a collaborative effort with paper artist Richard Sweeney, the cardboard furniture collection was thoughtfully conceived and brought to life with sustainability as a central focus.
While the decision to exclusively use corrugated cardboard as the primary material was an experimental one, it has proven to be a wise choice. Not only is it an environmentally responsible option, but it also maintains its durability and resilience over time. Corrugated cardboard retains its quality and properties even after recycling, making it a cost-effective choice as well.
Cardboard furniture offers numerous creative advantages. By opting for recycled and recyclable cardboard furniture, individuals can significantly reduce their carbon footprint and contribute to the reduction of landfill waste.
The design journey involved a series of experiments with columnar shapes inspired by natural structural elements, such as the intricate patterns found in a wasp’s nest and the crystalline skeletal structure of microscopic sea organisms called Radiolaria. Through these experiments, we delved into the inherent strength of the material and were amazed by the resilience and stability of this often-overlooked everyday material.
We harnessed computer-aided design techniques to craft the furniture’s form, utilizing triangular columns strategically oriented to leverage the cardboard’s inherent structural properties. From the virtual model, individual components were extracted to create flat layouts, serving as templates for the transfer onto the cardboard itself. Remarkably, the Radiolarian sofa, for instance, required the meticulous hand-cutting and gluing together of over two hundred such components.
Sustainable furniture collection
The cardboard used in this project was locally sourced from John Hargreaves’ factory in Stalybridge. This factory specializes in producing paper from recycled pulp using machinery that dates back to 1910. Local sourcing was paramount for this project due to its environmental considerations, aligning with the goal of creating a sustainable product range.
Cardboard was deliberately chosen as the primary material because it doesn’t command the same level of reverence as metals and woods. Often associated with disposable items like bus tickets and packaging, cardboard is typically discarded after single use. Transforming this underappreciated, everyday material into a medium for creative expression was a fundamental objective. Cardboard and paper can be ingeniously designed to produce products that ignite people’s imaginations in unique and imaginative ways.
The Honeycomb furniture range made its debut at Milan Design Week and has since been featured in various exhibitions, including Grand Designs and London Design Week.