When most of us hear the words “flatpack furniture”, we’re wracked with flashbacks of sitting amongst mountains of dowels and particle board, sobbing. But Ying Zhang and Ida Thonsgaard, two Berlin-based designers, are taking the concept beyond the horrors of Ikea.
Zhang and Thonsgaard are the authors of a system called Playtime: A collection of chairs and tables made out a thin layer of tesselated wood triangles, backed by a textile laminate. When the pieces are unfolded, they lay flat, like rugs. But when you snap together the system of embedded system of magnets and clips, each flat piece transforms into a three-dimensional side table or stool. The surfaces are covered in patterns inspired by two different sources: Japanese origami and Nordic textiles
“The furniture works almost like paper folding. When unfolded, it is flat, lightweight and easy to transport,” the duo told Gizmodo over email. “You can also place the boards vertically, as wall panels.” There’s also a version designed to be used simply as a rug, which you can buy on the duo’s website by the square metre.