Beautiful And Functional Designs Are Elevating Flatpack Furniture [NYCxDesign]

Beautiful And Functional Designs Are Elevating Flatpack Furniture [NYCxDesign]

Independent designers are taking a page from IKEA's flatpack ethos but with a premium focus.

Dave Pinter, PSFK
  • 12 june 2014

Flatpack furniture may still conjure images of particle board panels that when assembled result in bland, cheap looking chairs, tables and shelves that don’t last. The idea of flatpack designed furniture is evolving though.

Designers looking to create products from a minimum number of parts that are easy to assemble and happen to look really good. The net benefits are less complicated manufacturing, efficient shipping and affordable purchase prices. Here’s a roundup of the best examples of this new breed of flatpack furniture we collected while making the rounds during NYCxDesign.


Lander by Parsons & Charlesworth
Made in Chicago, the Lander occasional table relies on clever geometry to achieve its shape. Essentially a collection of three types of parts, a folded sheet steel top, bent steel rod legs and a metal clip, Lander is manufactured without welding. Each of the legs fit into a corner slot on the top and are held in tension with the metal clips. The facets on the top allow multiple tables to by tiled together to form a larger surface. The triangular shape also allows Lander to fit into small spaces. The table can be easily assembled or broken down and stored using no tools.




Hangman by Surya Graf
Based on the notion that people wear 20% of their wardrobe 80% of the time, Hangman is a freestanding closet inspired by wire coat hangers. Assembled from only four stainless steel tube components, Hangman’s shape is both sculptural and practical. It was designed with urban apartment dwellers in mind to be efficient to use in small spaces where closets are small or non-existent. It can be built and disassembled for transportation without using any tools.





Mount Everest Table by twentytree
Design inspiration came from mountaineering where climbers use an economy of effort and essential well-performing gear to reach a summit. The Mount Everest Table is easy to assemble with pickaxe-inspired legs that slot into brackets on the tabletop. Two bungee cords tighten the structure and add a distinct detail derived from climbing ropes.




Tabled by Vladimir Stajic
Tabled is an easy to assemble desk that has a couple hidden features.  While it looks made of all wood, a metal structure is hidden in the table top and attachment brackets in the legs are painted a bright accent color. A recessed LED strip light is integrated into the leg extension that wraps over the top of the desk surface. In total, Tabled is made up of only 8 distinct parts.





Peg by Paul Loebach / Makers Anonymous
“Carve the peg by looking at the hole” – Ancient  Proverb

The peg is a metaphor in written language across cultures and throughout history. It stands for fitting distinct elements together, assimilation, connections, problem solving, and the transformation of multiple disparate parts into a cohesive whole.

Taking its cue from the playfulness of wooden childhood toys, and the need to ship furniture as compact and efficiently as possible, Paul Loebach’s new chair: PEG is formulated around the acronym, Parts Excluding Glue. Cnc-machined out of birch wood in 8 separate components the parts of the Peg chair can tapped into place for assembly. As the wood naturally expands and contracts over time the structure further tightens, creating a snug and sturdy form.






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