Stylish home furnishings made of corrugated cardboard? It sounds unlikely until you see some examples and realize that some of the innovators working in this medium are making remarkable contributions to the field.
One of these innovators is Giles Miller, who studied furniture design at Loughborough University in the UK and continued his studies at London's Royal College of Art. Some of his designs are being produced by the Italian brand Dovetusai. These include a wardrobe and grandfather clockwith whimsical yet functional lines.
"Cardboard as a building block is slowly gaining in appeal around the world. The 2000 Olympics in Sydney featured cardboard furniture," writes CNET's Elsa Wenzel, who also talks about Frank Gehry's innovative work with the material. Gehry, the world-renowned architect, is said to have introduced his table and chair designs made of corrugated cardboard between 1969 and 1973. Design schools teach his concepts to this day.
Gehry's unique cardboard furniture< designs were exhibited at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. His fundamental concern, according the Museum's exhibition notes, was to manipulate basic materials in unconventional ways to produce objects that are functional yet also visually striking.
Cardboard furniture is a timely topic, and many of the green blogs around the world are talking about it. As people continue to look for ways to preserve dwindling global resources, discoveries for creating furniture from recycled materials are being given a serious look.
The approach of Innovative Cardboard is perhaps at the other end of the scale from Miller's fine art perspective. Innovative Cardboard makes custom chairs, shelves, tables, and more -- all out of cardboard. In many instances, the products are built for use at trade shows, where the items work effectively in a company's booth set-up and are simply left behind for disposal at tear-down time. Budweiser is one of Innovative Cardboard's customers, and contracted for cardboard furnishings that incorporated the company logo.
Leo Kempf, a designer who lives in the Arkansas mountains, creates functional art, including furniture made of cardboard. Some of his pieces are on display at 360SEE, a Chicago gallery that exhibits fine art, functional art, furniture, and design objects that address issues of sustainability through concept and material construction.
For people interesting in learning to make cardboard furniture, eHow and Instructables give step-by-step instructions.
Gomi Style produced an informative and instructional video on making cardboard furniture. It's an entertaining 6-minute piece about the topic, and has had almost a half million views to date.