Christy Oates will never be IKEA, but hopefully IKEA, which seems to concentrate much more these days on selling us stuff that we don't need rather than designing what we really do, will take some insipiration from her fold-out, flat-pack, laser-cut wood veneer furniture.
What Oates knows that IKEA doesn't seem to is the secret of truly surprising design.
That is - it combines great attention to function with form that is simple and elegant and unique enough to be timeless. It is that timelessness, combined with use of best-of-class eco-materials, that makes stuff sustainable.
Oates Twofold series of furniture definitely merges that attention to function with forms that are wall-attached, taking up no space when the chair, or table, or lamp isn't in use. In the quest for tiny home living, that's a huge plus.
Oates is at this point an artist and furniture designer rather than an active manufacturer. Her Crane chair and Frog table and most of the other designs (the fold-out Mosquito lamp is my favorite) were part of an MFA thesis. She is selling the items for from 1,500 to 3,000, but she says mass manufacturing and lower prices are still in the future.
Oates is not standing still - her latest project was inspired by E-waste at a San Diego recycling center.