We’ve seen quite a bit of experimentation with cardboard on Inhabitat, but Hungarian husband & wife team Edith Szilvasy (formerly an artist) and Andras (Andrew) Balogh (a carpenter) have taken cardboard building to the next level by inventing a system of constructing furniture that uses only cardboard and ordinary paper clips. The development of the system has taken 3 years, but for Karton Art Design, that time has been time well spent. Andras developed a a method of folding and clipping the cardboard so that their finished products are as strong as wood and as light as paper — and can be integrated with existing wood products. Their work is currently showcasing at the Milan Furniture Fair in La Zona Tortona this week. Karton’s products featured at the fair include: shelving units, chairs, and even a restored hutch (featured below).

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Karton’s smartly-designed cardboard furniture provides customers with efficient and easy construction, while saving them a chunk of money. The lightweight cardboard is flat-packed, so you won’t need to rent a van or hire movers to get these goods up the stairs. You also won’t need to an Ikea “special assistant assembler” or an Allan Key or any other equipment or tools — you can simply unpack the pieces, fold them in places indicated on the cardboard, and clip it together with ordinary paper clips.

You might wonder how cardboard and paper clips could possibly provide the necessary strength or stability to a chair or shelf unit. You will have to take it from me; I sat in the chair and tried to knock the shelf unit around and everything proved to be as strong and durable as wood. And the eco-friendly appeal of cardboard certainly makes the idea of purchasing this furniture more attractive — as the use of recycled cardboard consumes far less resources than creating a similar product with wood.

Currently, you can purchase their innovative furniture directly from their website. There, you will find a rapidly expanding range of products. Karton’s utilitarian collection of furniture is replacing the old and wasteful ways of furniture — and as we become more environmentally-conscious and receptive to innovative and green methods and products, Karton’s creations couldn’t be more timely.

+ Karton Art Design

+ 2009 Milan Furniture Fair Coverage

+ 2009 Milan Furniture Fair Photo Gallery