Cover Studio Job's furniture inspired by papier-mache

Unlike the infamous cardboard beds in Tokyo 2020's Olympic Village which were created to be recycled, these chic cardboard and paper pieces are collectible design objects

Vitra Wiggle chair and stool

The grandaddy of cardboard furniture, the sculptural Wiggle chair and stool are part of Frank Gehry's Easy Edges series which also included shelves and side tables made of this everyday material released in 1971. The renowned architect started experimenting with cardboard when he was asked to create some furniture on a shoestring budget and discovered that alternating the direction of layers of corrugations made them surprisingly strong and durable.

He also found that he could cut these edgeboard sections into geometrical forms, or bend them into sculptural, ribbon-candy folds which which where the Wiggle gets its distinctive looks. Gehry quit cardboard furniture altogether by 1982 and eventually ceded rights to Vitra, where the Wiggle is still in production.

Vitra is available at HAUS Living Concepts

See also: 4 Design Documentaries To Watch During Lockdown

Graypants Scraplights

Calling themselves a team of problem solvers rather than designers, the Seattle- and Amsterdam-headquartered, Graypants prides themselves on their bold creativity and diverse designs. Scraplight is the flagship product, a lighting collection handcrafted from recycled cardboard which casts warm and inviting light.

Suitable for any occasion an space, the lighting which ranges from pendant to table, gets its unique shape from being precisely cut with laser. The pieces are then assembled by hand using non-toxic adhesive, and treated with a non-toxic fire retardant.

The lights come in white or brown and their Pebbles sub-collection features organic shapes that take the forms of pebbles gathered at three beaches near Seattle, and each pebble shade is inscribed with the beach name and coordinates of the original stone that inspired it.

Moooi Paper Furniture

Leave it to avant garde Dutch brand Moooi and iconoclastic design collective Studio Job to create an entire furniture collection inspired by the childhood craft of papier-mâché. Starting with a paper chandelier in 2005, the usually luxurious form takes on an unexpected twist when realised in papier-mâché.

See also: The Best Green Furniture In Recycled Materials

Tatler Asia
A desk is part of the Moooi paper collection
Above A desk is part of the Moooi paper collection

But this is not the papier-mâché we remember from kindergarten. To achieve the shape and meet safety standards, layers of paper and glue were applied to honeycomb cardboard, drying into a solid composition and thus redeveloping traditional construction methods.

Today the collection has grown to include a full-sized wardrobe, dining table, screen, side table, floor lamp, screen, console cabinet and desk. Further experimentation have expanded the colour ways and pieces now come in various eye-catching colours.

Moooi is available at Space Furniture

Stretch expandable furniture

Reminiscent of slinkies and accordions, the ever so flexible Stretch Design sofas are form and function personified. Fascinated by the beauty, flexibility, and incredible durability of paper honeycomb structure, each sofa is made using recycled cardboard paper and recycled wood fiber.

Its clever design allows the seats to arrive at your home a flat, stackable, highly portable package (just over 5 inches across when collapsed) but when expanded, it can grow more than ten times its original size when you pull on either end, bending and curling to become a sofa for a group. Surprisingly strong, the longer sofas can hold up to 4,232 pounds at once when fully expanded. 

Tatler Asia
The Stretch sofa in white looks almost like marble
Above The Stretch sofa in white looks almost like marble

Remarkably easy to manipulate, the seats somehow stay in place when you curl it into an S-shape or bend one end to the ground. They're also incredible handy to have if you have extra guests to seat. 

Each piece is hand-crafted of FSC-certified materials, assembly-free, recyclable and made with non-toxic finishing. Colours include marble white, lava black and earth brown.

See also: Tropical Shades: 7 foliage themed home decor

Pholc Romb table lamp

Swedish lighting brand Pholc creates lighting which combine classic Scandinavian design sensibilities realised in unique materials. This is evident in the Romb table lamp which uses ripple cardboard to great effect. Designed by Stockholm based design duo, Broberg & Ridderstråle, the lamp came about when they were experimenting with rippled cardboard which is commonly used when modelling and developing architecture projects.


Tatler Asia
Pholc's Romb table lamp in white
Above Pholc's Romb table lamp in white

The rhomboid shape emerged quickly and split into two forms; one larger than the other, which cast an interesting direct light upwards but also indirect down, over the base of the shape. To ensure it keeps its shape, Romb's structure is crafted from custom-pressed steel with seamless edges and great attention to detail.The piece's unusual dimensions allows it to work well on narrow spaces like bookshelves or windowsills, and has a strong sculptural presence whether its switched on or off.

Lessmore X2 chair

Designed by multiple award winning Italian architect turned industrial designer, Giorgio Caporaso for his sustainable furniture brand Lessmore, the X2CHAIR is an innovative chair made of sophisticated materials with a captivating profile. 

A highly flexible design, the chair can be made to accommodate just one person as a chaise, two as a love seat or even multiple people as a sofa. Designed for both indoor and outdoor spaces, the X2 chair is made of environmentally friendly cardboard and can be embellished with side panels which are replaceable and changeable over time. Apart from giving the X2 its unique shape, the empty rounded compartments can be used to keep objects as well as its lounger pad.

See also: 6 Of The Best Italian Sofas Worth Investing In

Showroom Finland Kenno children's chair

Multiple award-wining Finnish industrial designer, Heikki Ruoho explores the appealing feel of corrugated cardboard in a simple but effective chair for children, Named the Kenno chair for Showroom Finland , the chair is the result of experimentation with a new kind of recycled cardboard. Sustainability was is a key feature of this design, as such the sturdy yet lightweight material can be recycled as paper and water-based adhesives are used to create its sandwich construction.


Tatler Asia
The Kenno children's chair can be decorated by its owner
Above The Kenno children's chair can be decorated by its owner

The Kenno comes flat packed and comprises of five pieces of cardboard to form its robust structure with no need for glue or screws. The chair is perfect for children as it can be personalised by painting or drawing on the surface and then discarded when the child has outgrown it. The Kenno chair is now exhibited as part of the Philadelphia Museum of Art's permanent collection.

© 2022 Tatler Asia Limited. All rights reserved.