You might have thought that using milk crates as furniture was a long gone memory from your college days. Allow us to reintroduce you to the storage and siting solution making a comeback courtesy of Newark, New Jersey design firm Combo Collab. The XTOOL offers a stackable storage solution complete with plywood seats and legs for outdoor and indoor use. We were able to get up close and personal with the designers who we spotted at the International Contemporary Furniture Fair after having completed a successful Kickstarter campaign late last year. Click through the gallery to see how these stools stack up against your old college crates.
Combo Collab’s stackable milk crate XTOOL chairs are manufactured locally using 80 percent recycled plastic and left over Baltic Birch plywood from manufacturing. The plywood seating seals in hideaway storage and is custom made to each crate. Architects Mateo Pinto and Carolina Cisneros of Venezuela and Argentina respectively founded the Combo Collab in 2010. The duo state on their Kickstarter site that the XTOOL is the first piece of a larger family of modular furniture using custom milk-crates.
The XTOOL can be used interchangeably as a side table, a stand for plants, a kids stool or for impromptu seating—relatively any place where extra storage or seating is needed. The design team is no stranger to merging materials to create functional pieces. Their practice “focuses on the design and production of hybrid projects and products of variable scales and temporalities”.