Foam Expands Into A Chair When Heated [Video]

Foam Expands Into A Chair When Heated [Video]
Design & Architecture

Belgian designer Carl de Smet is developing self-assembly furniture that can be compressed to 5% of its size and expands when heated.

Emma Hutchings
  • 15 april 2013

Belgian designer Carl de Smet is developing furniture using smart foam technology. Instead of requiring nails or screws, his designs assemble themselves when heat is applied.

This is made possible using shape memory polyurethane, which can shrink to a small size and then expand to its intended shape when heated to a set temperature.

'Smart Foam' Material Expands Into A Chair When Heated

The technology is revolutionary for the cost and effort that would be saved in shipping and assembly. If damaged, the furniture can be repaired by simply heating the foam up again, and if consumers don’t like the design they can reshape it.

Carl de Smet is currently working with scaled-down models but is close to creating full-size furniture, which he hopes to have ready for production in under a year. The smart foam was unveiled at Milan Design Week last week and the BBC has a sneak preview of de Smet and his work in his Brussels studio:

Carl de Smet

+furniture design
+Milan Design Week
+self assembly

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