Gallery: MOLO SOFTSEATING: Expandable Honeycomb Chair

Papersoft, Furniture, Honeycomb
Papersoft, Furniture, Honeycomb

Molo Designs’ flexible honeycomb paper furniture has been a long time favorite of Inhabitat, starting back when we first discovered them in 2005 at ICFF, all the way to the Inhabitat Editors Choice Award they won at last year’s design week. And now they’re adding another item to their stellar resume- they’re one of the participants in the upcoming HauteGreen exhibition and our next sneak peak!

Brilliant design ideas always spawn a host of imitators and Molo is no exception. The Vancouver-based designers may have been the origin of expandable paper furniture, but in the last year we have seen the rise of the Expandable Folding Chair, Newspaper Extendable Bench, Cardboard Furniture, and a variety of flatpak honeycomb lights.

Molo’s “Soft” expandable paper furniture is made from craft paper, and uses a flexible-yet-strong honeycomb structure to provide support. Molo’s Paper Softseating comes in the form of stools, benches, and loungers, in natural brown kraft paper and deep black (dyed with bamboo charcoal ink).

Currently on the market there are two types of Softseating : fanning stools (in eight different sizes) and fanning loungers as big as 80″ in diameter. The paper Softseating is held together by magnets that allow you to connect Softseating to one another. The various configurations of extending, stacking, and joining pieces yields endless possibilities only limited to the users imagination. If you find yourself at the end of the day wanting more floor space, each Softseating piece collapses down to the size of an oversized coffeetable book for easy storage until your next soirée.

+ Molo Paper Wall
+ Molo


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  1. sarells October 17, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    I really have a problem with the price. This is not an accessible product in terms of cost. Though the advertising is brilliant, filled with young, urban, bike-messenger-turned-designer types, nary a one of them would be able to afford one of these pieces even with a trade discount. I see countless uses for the lounger as it would be super kid-friendly and so flexible, but not with a $5,000 price tag. It’s disingenuous to advertise this way.

  2. Ninehand December 14, 2007 at 9:35 am

    The magnets wouldn’t hurt a credit card I’m sure, MythBusters did a thing on that and had to use an electro-magnet to erase anything.

  3. Rosie September 10, 2007 at 12:04 pm

    Hi, is it possible to fin out any more about this furniture? I’m organising a sustainabilty exhibition and would love to show these!

  4. todd May 16, 2007 at 1:48 pm

    some facts:

    1) we use a high percentage of recycled content for the paper walls and seating
    2) we are seeking paper from certified sustainable sources
    3) all of our products are designed to be easily dismantled for recycling
    4) trade show environments are abusive – who else allows thousands of people to try out and literally kick around their products? I can’t imagine many products would come out of this looking good (it really isn’t normal wear and tear)
    5) they do turn to pulp – we like the shapes and broken surface that develops – to us its an interesting contrast to the pure form and material of conventional-type modern furniture which looks abused at the first scratch – even red wine can be fun
    6) the pieces are cut with hydraulic cutters and only the corners are die cut – for the lounger shape the cut is mirrored and flipped – there is very little waste in the cutting process – in all of our products we strive for the smallest amount of waste possible in all aspects of the process from making to shipping to marketing
    7) paper used in softseating uses the least amount of processing possible in the paper industry
    8) we still have a ways to go (hopefully our road has no end) but we are constantly addressing issues
    9) we don’t maintain that our products will solve all of the worlds problems but we are very proud of molo and of how we are doing things.


  5. craig May 15, 2007 at 12:09 pm

    I really do want to like these products (especially since I like the design) the problem for me is not only the material its lifespan and manufacturing. I have seen Molo products at a number of trade shows over the past few years and after a few days of wear and tear they are damaged and look awful, spill a drink on them and they turn to pulp. They are a good design concept but they are not practical. I also believe that they are die cut, which means there is a considerable amount of waste and inefficiencies in Manufacturing.

    As for the material, I would like to point out that the pulp and paper industry is one of the top three environmental polluters in North America and this includes recycling paper.

  6. Rebecca May 15, 2007 at 12:18 am

    You’re right – paper is not inherently green. But green is not always just about materials (although some of the materials in this piece are recycled as well). Molos pieces use non-toxic adhesives and dyes (bamboo charcoal dye for the black soft seating). They are lightweight, pack flat, and save energy in transport. They are designed for multi-functions and to accomodate changes in living patterns. Although they are paper, they are designed to take a beating and at the end of their lifetime, they can easily be disassembled and recycled. They may not be the greenest pieces on the block, but they certainly exemplify many outstanding green ‘criteria’.

  7. craig May 14, 2007 at 3:43 pm

    paper is in no way environmentally friendly. In order to produce pulp and paper huge quantities of toxic chemicals are used which more often than not end up in our rivers, lakes and water tables. These Molo products are great design but as far as I know are not green. I have no idea how or why these guys can be in a so called “green” exhibition?

  8. coprblue May 13, 2007 at 9:55 am

    since it’s carboard, jus ttake out the (refrigerator) magnets and recycle everything else. 0% waste. and as a student who has moved almost every year since highschool, i would love to just recycle all of my furniture rather than move it. Even just folding it up would be wonderful.

  9. David in Bali May 12, 2007 at 9:45 pm

    Expandable paper products bring out the Slinky loving kid in all of us, but does not our experience with party favors, as well as the 1st photo in this article, tell us it is fragile? = short life = waste?

  10. Ar. Vineeta Merchant May 12, 2007 at 12:58 am

    its a brilliant concept.specially a space can be altered just by changing the dimension of this paper furniture.its amazing.i like it.

  11. cleo May 11, 2007 at 8:43 am


  12. Hun Boon May 11, 2007 at 5:54 am

    Just imagine the hassle of cleaning them..

  13. shambhavi May 10, 2007 at 10:11 pm

    Cool, but I wonder if the magnets would wreck credit cards, etc. in back-pocket wallets. Also, how durable are these things?

  14. hanounou May 10, 2007 at 5:30 pm

    I see the hand of the girl through the chair, it’s soft despite of dimension, bravooooooo

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