Secret Furniture Unfolds from Shipping Crates
Feel like a game of foosball? There is an all-in-one wooden crate for that – and a surprisingly small one no less. The premise here is clear: mobility above all else – entire workstations, entertainment centers, wet bars, storage spaces and sleeping units, each of which folds up into a self-contained little box for easy transport.
Naihan Li is a Beijing designer who knows knows first hand how fast-paced urban life can be, even within a single city. The aesthetic is simple, hardware durable and materials understated for subtle stylistic consistently and easy portability … plus no need to let the person moving your boxes know that your who life is wrapped up in them.
“The newest addition to the Crates Stainless Steel series includes a foosball table, an expandable fun piece while meticulous engineering and construction happening at the same time. Naihan’s idea for the CRATES originated from the uncertainty of Beijing’s shifting urban playground, where once discovered, industrial and artist spaces were quickly destroyed. The inspiration came while unpacking shipping crates full of artwork for Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan. Soon after, those sketches were transformed into an entire series of crated lifestyle products and furniture for the office, kitchen, and bedroom. The CRATES resembles the exterior of a fully-finished shipping container, opening to instantly reveal fully functional household or office environments.”
About the designer:
“Jingjing Naihan Li is an architect-turned-furniture-designer whose works reflect what she calls “the moody impracticality of globe-trotting.” Li studied design and architecture at London’s Bartlett School of Architecture, and early on in her career collaborated on a design project with the renowned Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. Her best-known series, titled “The CRATES,” was inspired by the shipping crates used for transporting artwork and her own experience living in “Beijing’s shifting urban playground where industrial and artist spaces are quickly discovered and soon destroyed,” as she says. The works in “The CRATES” are modular items of everyday furniture—such as bookshelves, beds, and armchairs—that fold up into compact crates for easy transportation. The series was nominated for the 2012 Design of the Year Award by the Design Museum in London. Li has also produced design projects in collaboration with Swarovski and the Gwangju Biennial, among others.”