Flat-pack honeycomb shelving units made from recycled materials assemble in 5 minutes

Ruche shelving units
© Ruche

These lightweight shelving units, inspired by beehives, offer a strong, solid structure and a distinctive design that can complement any room in the house.

Designer Ruth Shafrir set out to create something both useful and eco-friendly, which was not only simple to assemble, but didn't require any tools or fasteners to hold together. Her inspiration came from one of nature's master builders, the honeybee, and the final design of her Ruche (beehive in French) shelving units wound up being not only beautiful, but also sharing some of the benefits of the geometry of honeycomb, namely the strength and stability of that shape.

The Ruche shelving units, which come in three sizes, are designed to be made from either recycled cardboard or recycled aluminum, both of which are light yet strong. The product flat-packs for efficient shipping and handling, and can then be assembled in just minutes. The design uses 12 flat pieces for each unit, which slot together to form a series of hexagonal and triangular shapes, yielding a sturdy and stable shelf.

The smaller units, which measure 15" by 13.5" by 2.7" deep and can be hung on the wall, could serve just as well in the kitchen as in the office, and will hold up to 22 lbs (cardboard) or 39 lbs (aluminum) of stuff. The medium (29" x 26" x 5.5" deep) and large (44" x 40" x 10" deep) are capable of handling weights up to 81.5 lbs (medium, aluminum) or 176 lbs (large, aluminum), and would make great bookshelves, shoe racks, or kitchen, bathroom, and dining room organizers, either on their own or with other units.

Ruche shelving units will be available in several colors, depending on the material, with the cardboard version only being offered in a single black and white pattern. The aluminum version, which has a brushed and anodized finish, will be available in four colors - black, red, gold, and silver - and those who buy more than one color in the same size can mix and match the pieces between them for combo colors.

Shafrir is currently running a crowdfunding campaign to launch her Ruche design, and backers at the $30 and up level can be the first to own one of these shelving units.

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