Chairs can be a hassle to setup and can be quite bulky to ship. Now, a Purdue university researcher has designed what he refers to as a “minimal chair,” that can be shipped in a flat box and requires seconds to assemble. He hopes the design of his minimalistic chair will inspire other product designers and help change current furniture design processes.
Tong Kim, associate professor of industrial design at Purdue’s College of Liberal Arts, says his chair will help reduce waste by utilizing materials made from thin and light metal, wood, and leather. Additionally, the chair ships in a flat package, which reduces shipping costs by more than 50 percent. Kim said normally shipping costs account for one-third of the overall costs for manufacturing goods, and this method could exponentially drive down the cost of shipping furniture
“We want to take giant leaps in sustainable manufacturing,” Kim said. “This chair represents only one small piece of our overall goal to streamline lean manufacturing and reduce energy waste.”
Kim has also created a patented “Sharing Chair,” a stackable type of furniture that can be used by up to three people. He also established Wonder Maker Space, a product development and commercialization platform that allows multiple people around the world to collaborate on a product or prototype simultaneously.
“I continue working on processes for smart manufacturing, including an Internet of Things-based system to transfer digital data such as 3D CAD and specifications between manufacturing locations so items can be produced locally and save time, costs, and reduce waste,” Kim said.
Filed Under: Product design