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Brief Published: 6 Aug 2019

‘Sofa in a Box’ Caters to Generation of Movers

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Elephant in a Box

In response to growing demand for furniture that can cater to transient renting lifestyles, US start-up Furniture Tech Lab is launching Elephant in a Box – a foldable family-sized sofa that can be packed into a single box for easy moving and storage.

It features a honeycomb grid structure made from cellulose fibre sheets, which are attached to the sides of the sofa. When pulled apart, they extend like an accordion. This creates a rectangular frame on which the upholstered cushioning can fit into place.

The diamond-shaped grid allows the material to fold and stretch while retaining its original form. It also boosts the sofa’s strength, enabling it to carry 400 times its weight – in testing, a prototype was able to withstand an impressive 1,900lbs (862 kg).

The expandable structure enables users to easily pull their sofa into shape without any additional tools. This cuts assembly time to five minutes, and disassembly to two, according to the Kickstarter campaign. Furthermore, without a rigid frame, the sofa is flexible enough to adapt to smaller and larger spaces, as users can determine its length by how far they stretch the honeycomb core.

Furniture Tech Lab designed the sofa to fit within the dimensions of UPS’s postal service delivery boxes. It’s also light – 99lbs (45kg) – which means the sofas can be shipped interstate and fit in a car, as well as easily stored when not needed.

Moreover, the honeycomb structure is planet-friendly, reducing the amount of timber needed for each sofa; while its lightness equates to an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions, compared to shipping a conventional sofa.

For more innovative furniture designed to take up less space, see Smarter Spaces: Optimising the Home and Top Three New Space-Saving Furniture Designs.

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