Open source furniture design is a growing trend. Open Design means mainly two things: 1.) documentation is shared freely so that users can make their own versions 2.) furniture is made with digital fabrication and can be reproduced in a makerspace or FabLab.
In a few words, as said by the Open Design Contest initiative:
… designing and sharing products that can be made with digital fabrication. The designs are published under a Creative Commons license, so that anyone can download, use and adapt the designs, and upload derived designs again!
Take a look at these 20 inspiring open source furniture pieces that you can make yourself.
1. Pod by Samuel Javelle
Pod has been designed by French open designer Samuel Javelle. It’s a stool made of wood. Pieces are cut with a milling machine and assembled with wood screws.
2. Never Ending Bench by Félix Lévêque
The Never Ending Bench was one of the winning designs of the Open Design Contest Paris organized during FabLab Squared in 2011. This bench is entirely made of wood and the pieces can be added without ending.
3. Paraseat by Maud Eisberg
Paraseat is made of pertinax board, a composite material of textile, resin, and foam-rubber. The materials are glued together. This mobile seat can be used on any pole.
4. Fablamp by Astrid Van Roij-Lubsen
Designed by Waag Society member Astrid Van Rooij-Lubsen, the Fablamp is made of 4mm flexible plywood. Diameter and height can be adjusted.
5. Handmade Balans Chair by Yuichi Hirose
The Balans Chair is made of 18mm thick boards cut with a CNC milling machine. All the bars have to be assembled at the same time. This chair requires the help of many friends to be properly built.
6. Opentap Collection by Dosuno Design
“Opentap” collection by Dosuno Design (Columbia) is low cost furniture you can build yourself. This collection mainly uses metallic pipes and wood. No screws or adhesive is required. Each design is customizable by adjusting the pipes. Documentation is available here.
7. Italic Shelf by Ronen Kadushin
Italic is made of 24mm and 18mm plywood parts that can be assembled in many configurations. The details are here.
8. Waste Bin by Astrid Lubsen
This waste bin has been designed for and by Barcelona Design Hub. It’s made of waste material such as leftovers panels from the laser cutter. Panels have been picked for their graphic quality and decorated by acrylic icons. Four sides are screwed to the bottom.
9. Sofa Table by Jeroen Dijkmeijer
Sofa Table has been designed using an online tool developed by Jeroen Dijkmeijer called Stretch Sketch. You can use this customization tool to adjust the size of the table so that it fits your own couch. The table is made of two parts: a table top and stand.
10. Scrap Adirondack Chair by Wohlman
This rustic chair is perfect for outdoors and chilling in the garden during summer. It’s inspired from classic Canadian Adirondack or Muskoka chairs. It’s made of scrap wood pieces that are cut and screwed together. Check out the documentation here. License: CC-BY-NC-SA.
11. Invasion Lamp by Clement Ribé, Léo Virieu, and Julie Brugier
The Invasion Lamp is made of laser-cut cardboard and assembled manually. The lamp can take any shape and grow indefinitely.
12. Sliced Lack Table by BrittLiv
This Sliced Lack Table is a variation on Ikea’s Lack table. Legs are sliced and the two long legs are screwed to the carpet for stability. It creates a surprising illusion that makes this table very special. Check out the documentation here. License: CC-BY-NC-SA.
13. Wall Desk Chalk Board by Alaskantomboy
This work desk mounted on a wall is also a secret chalk board. It transforms your work space into a playground or a brainstorming area in a minute. It’s made of pine boards and attached with chains to the wall. Check out the documentation here. License: CC-BY-NC-SA.
14. La Pucelle by Samuel Bernier
La Pucelle is a giant match chair made of pine wood glued and screwed together. One of the legs is burnt and the other legs have spray-painted Styrofoam eggs added to the legs tips. Check out the documentation here. License: CC-BY-NC-SA.
15. KNUFF Transformable Coffee Table by Imchaser
KNUFF is an IKEA hack using four sets of plywood magazine files and an artist stool. All pieces are glued together using liquid nails and then screwed to the stool. The documentation is here.
16. Rok-Bak Chair by Larry Cotton
Rok-Bak Chair is an open source rocking chair. It is made of assembled plywood pieces and homemade cushions. It can be assembled and disassembled in a few minutes. The documentation is here.
17. Bookshelf Light by Berend Everdingen
Bookshelf Light is an open source light for your bookshelf. It’s made of Plexiglas sheets, rubber-like material, glue, and a 8W fluorescent lamp. It costs around 60 euros to make in a FabLab.
18. Sketch Chair by Diatom Studio
The Sketch Chair is an online tool for designing open source chairs. The design files that you create can then be sent a CNC router, laser cutter, or paper cutter to make the parts. Parts can be assembled by hand. Check out the Sketch Chair.
19. OpenDesk Lean Range by 00
OpenDesk is a design company offering open source furniture designs that can be build by yourself or others. I interviewed the team in this article. Designs are available on OpenDesk.cc. Here’s more about OpenDesk:
20. 555 Footstool Design by Evil Mad Scientist
By popular demand, Evil Mad Scientist released the design of its 555 Footstool. Files and instructions are available here.
Open design furniture resources:
- Opendesk, open source office furniture
- Open source furniture on Pinterest
- IKEA Hackers: Hacks of IKEA furniture
This is a lightly edited version of an article from MakingSociety.