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FLATFORM 322, MELBOURNE

Rachel
04 Oct 2011

Folding cardboard shop: A sustainable pop-up retail interior that is both playful and principled

Interiors and products have a limited life span. Do you design for longevity and hope your designs don't prematurely end up in the garbage bin? Or go with the flow and accept that change is inevitable?

Designed for a temporary shop display, exhibited as part of an Australian design festival in Melbourne, industrial designer Kristian Aus of Autumn Products and architect Toby Horrocks of Freefold Furniture created an interior space that was both architecture and object. An experiment with a playful idea, the project is also principled in its consideration of material life-cycle.

Cardboard is a material made from post-consumer waste, and one that is easily recycled. It is also light weight for reduced greenhouse gas emissions in transport. Flat panels fold down to create functional shelving, a table, lamp shades and a seat. No glue is used - the entire system is demountable and flat-packed. It was also cheap - even when allowing for the digital creation process, the project's design and formation was extremely cost effective.

The project is partly a critique of contemporary retail fitouts that ‘churn' on a regular basis, and partly an antidote. Compared to solid and durable pop-up installations made from plywood or mdf, the design is delightfully light, embracing its own obsolescence. This project develops a model for a sustainable, temporary interior, that is both playful and principled.

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