One day I was reading an e-book and got to thinking about how ooks are becoming more digital, and in the process, I realized bookshelves needed an update. But how? By making it more flexible. More functional and less limited in its features. And what other way to make the shelf more functionally flexible than by literally making it flexible? In this way, users can shape it according to their needs or simply make a design no one else will have.
UNIQUE PROPERTIES / PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
Shape-A-Shelf is a flexible soft shelf can be mounted to the wall in different shapes to allow you to store or display any item you can think of. Whether you want a 100 percent level shelf, to re-create the Big Dipper or a teardrop, or make up your own design, the Shapeable Shelf is the first of the kind to give homeowners more control over their design ideas. It's made out of 100% recycled PET and it works with 5 pegs that are attached to the wall and then inserted into the shelf itself.
OPERATION / FLOW / INTERACTION:
First, the user chooses a design. Then the pegs are installed in the wall according to the design. The shelf is then just inserted into the pegs to make the desired shape. Since it is easily removed and inserted into the pegs, if the user chooses an array which can serve various forms, the shelf then can be arranged in different ways using the same fixed position of the pegs. It performs better because its simply more flexible, more versatile, and it looks so good.
PROJECT DURATION AND LOCATION:
The project started at the beginning of 2015 and ended the same year, two months later in March. It was designed at my office in Monterrey, México.
FITS BEST INTO CATEGORY:
Furniture, Decorative Items and Homeware Design
PRODUCTION / REALIZATION TECHNOLOGY:
There are 3 basic materials used. Steel for the pegs, 100% recycled PET felt for the shelf surface and webbing strips used to give the shelf more strength and rigidity. Also, the polyester thread. The manufacturing process is really simple and consumes very little energy since the whole shelf is made with a simple sewing machine. The pegs are made from a metal rod.
SPECIFICATIONS / TECHNICAL PROPERTIES:
The flexible property allows the shelf to be stored, packaged, and shown at stores using very little space compared to any other shelf. It folds down to a size of 10" x 11" and only 2" in depth. The packaging can be either a cardboard strip that holds the shelf and pegs (included) in place or a small 100% recycled PET felt bag that contains the folded shelf with the pegs. The weight is also very little compared to any other shelf. The soft nature of the shelf makes it perfect for children safety.
shelves, shapeable shelf, Shape-A-Shelf, flexible shelf, shelves, shelving,
I had already worked with felt in other products I have designed, so I know its properties very well. I knew I could make a flexible shapeable shelf with it. Felt can be as dense as it's needed, so it can be strong by itself, and it can be made even stronger (without compromising its flexibility) by adding extra materials that share the same textile characteristics. So the process was very straightforward. I researched shelves in the market and then the uses people give them to try to take the shelf to the next level. After 3 iterations, the final shelf was ready.
The challenge with this shelf was not in its design, but in its acceptance by the users. Being flexible, it's hard for people to believe it can be sturdy, rigid, and shaped in a straight line if desired. The shelf works as a normal shelf would, but it can also work as no other shelf has ever worked, and this is hard for users to accept, since it's something that challenges the status quo very strongly.
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