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Constructing furniture and tents with cardboard

Various institutions use cardboard to construct anything from tents to furniture, which are easy to put up and cheap to produce.

Cardboard is a sustainable, recyclable and strong material, excellent to use as packaging material. However, thanks to its strength and cheapness, it’s also suitable to make things like furniture and tents, which are quick and easy to set up.

Cardboard tents
Dutch company Kartent developed a cardboard tent especially meant to use at multiple day festivals. The company noticed that 1 in 4 people left their tents behind after a festival. In the Netherlands alone, this amounts to 25,000 tents a year. The tents all go straight to the landfill.

The Kartent is a 2-person tent, entirely made out of high quality cardboard. The tent is water resistant thanks to the cardboard’s long wood fibres. The cardboard doesn’t let much light through, so you can sleep in after a long night of partying. The material allows for easily recycling the tent after use.

Cardboard and plywood furniture
Students from the Lahti University of Applied Sciences in Finland designed a collection of essential furniture pieces for refugees and victims of natural disasters.

The students designed the temporary furniture pieces using low-cost materials like cardboard and plywood. The pieces can be assembled and disassembled quickly and with ease without the need for tools, thanks to a slotting assembly method. The collection includes space dividers, cabinets, beds and a table and stools.

The pieces were designed with displacement in mind, but they can also be used at festivals and campsites.

Cardboard packaging turns furniture
Packaging company Smurfit Kappa designed aid boxes that after use can be turned into furniture. The boxes are used by Scottish charity Edinburgh Direct Aid to send clothes and other essential items to refugee camps.

In the past, the boxes were recycled after use. However, the corrugated boxes can now easily be converted in stackable stools, storage chests and desks. They are printed with instructions in local languages. According to Smurfit Kappa, the furniture is sturdy enough t be kept outside.

For more cardboard constructions, click here.

Photos: Kartent / Lahti University of Applied Sciences (via Dezeen) / Smurfit Kappa

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