Forget about frustrating little wooden pegs, screws, bolts, and head-scratching instructions. The furniture of the future is easy as can be to assemble and disassemble, and it does away with literal tons of plastic packaging in the process. London designer FUZL Studio has come up with a clever way to transform flat-pack pieces into sturdy furniture that a child could put together, with no permanent fasteners or glue required.
The Originals series includes a stool, chair, bench, and tree tables made of birch plywood panels that simply clip together using heavy-duty steel clips normally used to hold together plywood shipping crates. In other words, these fasteners mean serious business. If they can be trusted by the commercial packaging industry to move billions of dollars worth of merchandise every year, they can be trusted to hold your dining set steady.
The QIK clips come from manufacturer Clip-Lok SimPak. As detailed in an interview over at Dezeen, FUZL Studio founder Oliver Theobald chose the clips because they use spring tension capable of absorbing “un-holy levels of industrial abuse,” able to withstand forklift trucks, tons of dynamic forces, and drop tests. That also means they don’t need to be tightened regularly.
It’s hard not to think about a certain Swedish mega-retailer and the oft-lampooned difficulty of assembling its furniture when viewing the refreshing simplicity of the Originals system. That was on Theobald’s mind while designing this series, too. When flat pack furniture was first introduced, it felt revolutionary because it made it so easy to transport. It shouldn’t be so difficult to put together that we have to hire help (not to mention comically disposable).
With the Originals series, Theobald hopes to demonstrate that flat-pack furniture can last a lifetime, look cool, and make moving the easiest it’s ever been. The collection uses the same exact clip to put together each piece of furniture, so as long as you don’t mix up the flat-pack components from different items, you should have no problem taking them apart for transport or storage and then putting them together again.
The Originals furniture may be simple, but it’s not boring. The pieces have interesting lines and shapes, and the FSC-rated timber sourced from responsibly managed forests is hand-finished in a range of VOC-free, food-safe colorful oils and pigments including burnt orange, olive green, vivid chartreuse, black, and cream. Plus, when you get your box of parts, you won’t find a mass of styrofoam, paper, and little plastic baggies inside.
“We’ve kept our designs ‘tool free’ so there are no nuts and bolts involved — so no more of those small plastic bags with fixings that all have to be produced, and similarly no synthetic glues or varnishings,” says Fuzl Studio. “And we’ve done away with printed assembly instructions in favor of online assembly instructions. We’ve also developed 100-percent recyclable protective packaging for our products. We use only biodegradable paper tape and origami folding and fixing methods, using recycled cardboard that is ‘cut to order’ meaning there is no unnecessary waste. This means no bubblewrap, no plastics — just 100-percent easily recyclable materials.”
The pieces start at £150 (about $200 USD) and can be purchased online directly from FUZL Studio.