Many of us associate Japan with robots and gadgets, but few of us have ever seen small and abstract boxes transform into elegant and practical interior furniture. Well, you're in for a treat. A unique prototype made in Japan, called “Foldaway office”, was recently showcased at the “City after the city” exhibition curated by Triennale di Milano in Italy. Designed by the Tokyo based firm Atelier OPA, this architectural furniture is an ingenious and user-friendly invention designed to provide extra room and functionality in any tiny or multipurpose space.
The Kenchikukagu collection is a bold response to the shift in values and contemporary lifestyles typical of big cities and pushes established limits and conventions regarding how a house is supposed to be. “Foldaway office” is one of the three Atelier OPA pieces in the series, in addition to “Guest room” and “Kitchen”. This set of light, mobile and fully functional rooms offer a practical solution for people living in densely populated cities without a lot of space.
But Kenchikukagu is more than just a furniture. It is portable architecture. If you have no kitchen, no office or you if you simply need an extra room to accommodate your guest, you can “build” it in a minute by opening Kenchikukagu just like a suitcase. When the unit is no longer required, one can fold it back up again and roll it away. Equipped with casters, Kenchikukagu is a compact and handy object that can easily disappear in a far corner of your house.
The first prototypes of Kenchikukagu were produced in wood back in 2008. The related video and images went viral on social media, quickly spreading all over the world. So encouraged, the architects went further with the development of this simple yet highly efficient design idea. Among other things, they substituted wood with aluminum to lower the price and make the units lighter and easier to ship. Kenchikukagu is now on sale in both Asia and Europe.
The latest version of the “Foldaway office” weighs about 80 kg and occupies only 0,52 cm2 if closed. When it is opened it provides a room of 1,62 cm2.
Images courtesy of Atelier OPA