Expanding (or shrinking) bookcase gets updated

© Reinier de Jong/ Photos by Peter van Dijk

In 2008 we showed Reinier de Jong's amazing expanding bookcase and described it: "like a pair of Sansabelt pants after Thanksgiving dinner, it expands as required to accommodate its contents." It was an interesting piece of transformer furniture, taking up only as much space as was needed.

Now the designer has re-introduced it, making it stronger and lighter.

© Reinier de Jong/ Photos by Peter van Dijk

In The Bookcase, Alex Johnson noted that the purpose of the bookcase is changing in the digital world:

With fewer books to be housed, perhaps readers will look for more exciting ways of storing their home libraries in a mere shelf, with the bookcase becoming closer to a trophy cabinet.

© Reinier de Jong/ Photos by Peter van Dijk

Reinier de Jong picks up on the same theme, writing in the press release:

What are books worth when there is internet, smart phones, tablets and e-readers? Not much at first sight. However, it is exactly these digital developments that enhance the appreciation of books. No longer functional carriers of information but rather artefacts representing one’s identity.

© Reinier de Jong/ Photos by Peter van Dijk

It is not so much about the quantity of books anymore but what counts is a well-considered selection of quality books. Book shelves are therefore changing as well, from purely functional pieces of furniture to unique design pieces, equally important as the books they hold.

© Reinier de Jong/ Photos by Peter van Dijk

REK was designed back in 2008 by Reinier de Jong as a bookcase that grows with your book collection. The fewer the books, the smaller the bookcase. The zigzag-shaped parts slide in and out to accommodate books in the resulting spaces. The books can also be arranged according to their size. The narrow spaces are excellent for magazines.

Last time 'round, commenters questioned how green this design was, in that there appeared to be a lot of material serving a pretty basic function. This is still true ( although it is now a svelte 175 pounds) but it's not really a bookshelf, it's a trophy case, and a lovely one at that. Thanks to Reinier de Jong.

Tags: Books | Designers | Transformer Furniture