Recently on Unconsumption, we spotted these cool little cardboard benches made by A4A Design in Milan. The post mentioned that A4A has been a pioneer in designing cardboard furniture; that sent us looking for more, which we found at Inhabitat — a whole slideshow of them.
Anaylizing A4A’s designs, we realized that much of their furniture is made of stacked and glued sheets of honeycomb cardboard, a super-strong, lightweight and easily cuttable material. Since we know that the great Uline sells big sheets of honeycomb cardboard in thickness of 1/2″, 1″ and 2″ we thought: why couldn’t we make our own cardboard furniture?
You can cut honeycomb cardboard with a sharp utility knife (you’ll need one with a long blade for 2″ thick cardboard — we’re wondering how an electric saw with a fine blade would do), and glue together stacks using carpenter’s glue. It appears A4A uses laminate for their surfaces, which would also be glued on.
There are A LOT of honeycomb cardboard creations of A4A’s website – including a sofa – and process shots to inspire you. Check out this ebook full of ideas and another here. You can also just go ahead and buy them.
…A4A aren’t the only designers using honeycomb cardboard but they sure do wonderful things with it. And we love the story of how they got there:
A strange start, a second job, a full-time game.
We discovered cardboard casually, and at first it was a parallel activity to our main occupation as architects, becoming a full-time job after much vetting.
But more than a job it was, and is, a game and lots of fun. Right from the start, creating urban designs with a strong aesthetic and social impact, we exploited the fun side of cardboard. And that fun is now part of our modus operandi.
Related posts: carved cardboard chair + the secret power of cardboard
caine’s arcade: a miracle of cardboard, tape, imagination
clipped-together shelving pt. 2: cardboard boxes
cool clamped-together shelving + a noguchi-esque clamp
couturier de cardboard: matthew sporzynski
d-i-y folding screen (thinking out loud in cardboard)
cardboard, crates + chairs as building materials
cardboard office + furniture (+ where to buy cardboard)
4 replies on “cool, sturdy cardboard furniture to diy or buy”
very interesting…I particularly like the bookcase which could have many permutation. Good food for thought, Peta
Can these furniture items be made from regular cardboard and not the honey comb cardboard? If not where can I find large honey comb pieces of cardboard. N. E. INDIANA
It would take a LOT of regular cardboard to make furniture strong enough you could actually use it. The source is in the article: “The great Uline sells big sheets of honeycomb cardboard in thickness of 1/2″, 1″ and 2″ we thought: why couldn’t we make our own cardboard furniture?”
I ordered 150 boxes from the USPS website for free to use for my DIY sofa bed. Purchasing cardboard of any kind to make into furniture can be just as expensive as just paying for a new piece. Honeycomb cardboard is even more expensive to buy and not easily accumulated from ordering stuff online. Asking stores that don’t sell cardboard for their used cardboard is an option, but ordering it for free in large quantities from the post office will provide a large amount of unused and undamaged boards for sturdier and cleaner projects.