Creating furniture is an age-old art form that has incorporated standard materials such as aluminum, wood and rattan. However, one artist has perfected a way to use another prolific material, cardboard, into furniture designs, and he’ll show you how to use it too.

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a black chair on legs to the left and a black chair without legs to the right. both stand against a blue background

Vadim Kibardin, based out of KIBARDIN design studio in the Czech Republic, wants to encourage the kids, journalists and architects in all of us to think progressively and sustainably by getting hands-on with paper furniture design. Kibardin sees a world of opportunity between citizens who want sustainably made products and the wasteland of available cardboard readily available. With this combination in mind, he set out to develop and share furniture designs that can work as a family art project in any home. 

Related: Designer Sophie Rowley creates marbled furniture from denim scraps

a gallery exhibit featuring a blue human-esque statue to the left, and two black chairs in the center of the exhibit

On his website, you’ll find a black furniture collection with a sampling of furniture pieces he’s lovingly hand-contoured. Some are complete and ready for purchase, while others offer a design that can be made by request. Each piece is unique, as materials and the handmade approach vary. He doesn’t use a mold to replicate a design. The process involves adhering stacks of flattened cardboard into thicknesses that add strength, then shaping them into chairs of varying designs. 

a man sitting and working on the legs of a piece of furniture

Over his 25 years in the business, Kibardin has been commissioned to create unique pieces for private clients, galleries and museums. But his vision goes beyond creating art and building usable furniture while saving trees, to inspiring others to do the same. His Totem collection represents a creative art form that can be replicated in homes around the world. 

a man in a pink shirt surrounded by colorful paper as he works on creating a piece of furniture

As Kibardin explained, “Take a look at my Totem furniture collection. It is essentially a condensed version of my vision, which transcends trends by being functional as a serial product and handmade piece of art. I focus on construction and delivering key looks, without the styling and theatrics of a show. I can bring you modern solutions at affordable prices, just collect paper and cardboard packaging, download patterns and manuals, and produce it with your kids.”

a man and two children working on a piece of paper furniture together

The basics are provided with an outline for decoupage-style stools, chairs and hourglass-shaped tables, but the idea is to inspire your own works of art. Kibardin encourages his site’s visitors to create their own paper art and then share images, instructions and a link for others to use. With this foundational support, Kibardin hopes everyone becomes part of this sustainable movement.

+ Kibardin Studios

Images via Palisander Gallery and Vova Pomortzeff