Furnitures made out of cardboard have existed since a long time. In 1972 already, Frank Ghery created the « wiggle chair », still available nowadays and even exposed in museums. But cardboard furnitures were mostly the work of artists and designers, whereas now they are increasingly made by small businesses and individuals.
The advantages of cardboard are numerous: it is a cheap, light and a sustainable alternative to classic materials. The furnitures can be easily assembled by the user, or folded if they need to be moved. And finally cardboard can be made out of recycled paper and can be in turn recycled at the end of its life.
Cardboards furnitures exist for every taste and at every price range.
For instance, the German company Uocu is manufacturing modular furnitures from carboard made out of waste-paper proportion of nearly 100%. All of their chairs, shelves and tables are made in Germany and easy to assemble without any tools or glue.
In the US, a young entrepreneur, Zachary Rotholz, created his company of cardboard furnitures through a kickstarter campaign. The Chairigami furnitures are not especially designed to last, but their main purpose is to be used in situation where they need to be constantly moved such as colleges, open office spaces or at any kind of temporary events. They have already replaced Ikea furnitures in many of these occasions. Rotholz designs are almost open-source ones since on his website people can suggest improvements for the chairs, couches and shelves he is offering..
The Italian firm P-One is specialised in stable, long lasting cardboard furnitures. After being used, theses quality products made in Italy can be 100% recycled.
But if you’re a bit crafty you can easily make these kind of furnitures at home. Good upcycling DIY’s are out there such as Foldschool which offer design patterns specifically aimed at children.
On youtube there are tons of tutorials explaining people how to convert the boxes they used while moving into recycled furniture, a good playlist can be found in the links below.