Inflatable furniture has a serious branding problem, thanks to historical attempts to make it cheap, easy and disposable. With some thought behind it, the results are surprising – potentially multi-use, flat-pack and durable designs are possible too.
Jy-Yeon Suh has used a combination of dense, weather-worthy synthetics, grommets, industrial metal snaps and plastic straps to take another shot at what is typically considered a shoddy furnishing typology associated with bachelor pads and dorm dwellers. While still light and portable, these works are also rigid and damage-resistant.
Both configurations are considered in these constructions – the fully-inflated state as well as the packed-to-store situation. Some simply fold up into tiny bundles that can be wrapped and snapped for easy storage. Others actually roll up into objects that can be used in other ways, like this sleeping-bag-turned-stool.
Pragmatics are certainly a factor when it comes to this inflatable furniture, but there is some fun at work here too – playful fabric fruit bowls and flower places are either experimental or made for the hardcore urban camper who insists on bringing absolutely everything with them everywhere they go to deploy on demand.
Here’s some more info from Core 77:
“On trips to Ikea, as a designer I can’t help but be impressed with how flat they’re able to render certain pieces of furniture. But industrial designer Jy Yeon Suh, a recent graduate of Central Saint Martins, aims to do them one better with his Bojaki line of inflatable housewares: Lamps, tableware and seating, constructed from what looks to be some sort of canvas held together by stitches and rivets. Absent its gaseous contents, this stuff will fold really flat.”
“Thus far it appears to be concept work, but we like the concept: In addition to low shipping fees and relatively tiny packages, the idea is that the user would form a connection with Bojaki goods, however slight, by the mere act of inflating them after purchasing. While not as dramatic as watching a print photograph slowly develop an image in a chemical bath, the inflation sensation would surely stimulate the same region of the creative brain.”