As rising transportation costs push up the price of food and consumer goods, the concept of growing or building something locally is gaining traction. Downloadable design follows in the same vein, and Rotterdam-based designers Minale-Maeda presented a collection of wooden furniture during Dutch Design Week that can be downloaded, customized and assembled at home using materials recuperated locally or at the neighborhood hardware store.
Dubbed “Inside Out” for its bold colors and open, planar aesthetic, the series of chairs, tables and cabinets are more than a little reminiscent of Dutch modernist architect Gerrit Rietveld.
The designers explain:
Designed specifically to be downloadable in order to reduce environmental issues related to transport, costs of stock keeping and explore collaborative design and distribution, this furniture can be edited in size and materials, is made on location or can be self-made by downloading the blueprints. The concept was to turn the pieces inside out to make construction simple, while brackets and structural details become distinctive and attractive features. The connections are 3d printed to suit various sizes of wood, and the crafting is minimal requiring only cutting to length and drilling.
It’s a little disappointing that the fasteners have to be made at a 3D printer, which may make the designs less accessible in the short-term, unlike similar designs that require no fasteners at all. But with the future of 3D printing looking bright, this kind of open-source design is poised to push us to rethink how goods are made, distributed, priced and used.
See more of Minale-Maeda’s work on their website.