In Brief

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

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.

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.

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