Flat-pack furniture, much like downloadable designs, owes much of its TreeHugger appeal from having the ability to create something three-dimensional from a flat (or nearly flat) material; this makes it easy to ship, easy to assemble and generally space efficient. Here are some of our favorite flat-packable pieces of furniture.
1) Unto This Last is a London-based company that makes flat-sing furniture to order, using the latest 3d modelling software and a big CNC machine at the back of the shop. Instead of shipping and storing furniture, they have a load of sustainably harvested Latvian and Finnish plywood. When an order is placed it is manufactured to order, negating the need for a big warehouse, extra transportation or excessive packaging.
2) DES Furniture takes a single sheet of FSC certified Europly, mixes "conceptual sensitivity with technical expertise", plays a CNC machine like a violin and creates furniture like this book-case without any waste at all. It needs no fasteners or glue and could be shipped in a (really big) envelope.
3) raw studio makes these groovy garden chairs made from one sheet of sustainable plywood. They're made in Kent, by a local UK manufacturer, and the creator is an engineer-turned-art-student, who has also built a "coffee" table made out of (you guessed it) recycled coffee grounds. The remaining two picks are after the jump...
4) Keijidesign has created a "heavy metal" flat-pack chair that's created from a single sheet of perforated (and bent) steel. Say the designers, "At first, we were surprised at how easily a sheet of steel could be bent along a perforated line…just like Origami, the traditional Japanese paper craft."
5) The students at the Ryerson School of Interior Design started with a 4' x 4' sheet of plywood, and created some really well thought-out, well-designed tables; they're all sort of a backwards flat-pack -- just take them apart, and you're left with a square of plywood less than four feet square...all they need now is a manufacturer.