This project is an attempt to bridge my desires of being immersed in the beauty and aliveness of the outdoors, while still remain a productive citizen of the society. Living near the coast, the calling of the ocean is just irresistible. Since a lot of my work can be done on a laptop, to have a portable office to take to beach simply means a comfy chair and table that is lightweight, sturdy, portable, and easy to assemble.
This set of table and chair are made of cardboard and duct tape only, and weigh less than 4 pounds together. They can be easily put together and taken apart, and every component opens up into a flat piece. The 2 table legs become the carrying case when opened.
I took inspirations from many cardboard furniture and packaging designs, went back and forth between designing in Sketchup, and testing the structures with cardboard. Through this process I became more and more appreciative of cardboard as a construction material.
Step 1: Material and Design
• Cardboard: upcycle all those boxes! This project utilizes single wall corrugated board, but some improvement can be achieved by using double wall corrugated board. Will discuss that later.
• Duct tape: your choice of colors
• Box cutter or Xacto knife, and good cutting surface
• Scissors for cutting slots (shown in next step)
• Measuring tape
• Drawing pen for marking the cuts and folds
• Straight edge and a butter knife to make creases
Cardboard as a construction material:
The humble cardboard contains some genius structural engineering. When placed vertically on its ends, the corrugation / flutes form vertical columns, capable of supporting considerable amounts of weight.
In this project the components that support lots of vertical weight, such as the structure beneath the chair, is made with the corrugation running vertically.
Human proportions in furniture design
Mass produced furniture are designed to correspond to the average proportions of their intended users. Yet each of us has different body height and proportions. When we custom design a piece for ourselves, and create it with an easy to shape material like cardboard, it is quite fun to test what is the most comfortable dimension for the unique person.
All the diagrams here are based on what I felt most comfortable. If you decide to make these, make sure to test and adjust the dimensions for yourself, and be surprised what a difference 1 or 2 inches can make you feel.