The Future of Furniture is Paper and Tape

What is the future of furniture? Paper and tape. At least that's the solution coming from Bulgarian designer Petar Zaharinov, whose latest line of furniture is made entirely and solely of these two components. 

The Future of Furniture is Paper and Tape

What is the future of furniture? Paper and tape. At least that is the solution coming from Bulgarian designer Petar Zaharinov, whose latest line of furniture is made entirely and solely of these two components. Having always been inspired by puzzles and “things that seem impossible”, he introduces a simple way of attaching planes together with duct tape in a chess pattern, which allows him to create sturdy, foldable tables, desks, chairs, book shelves, beds, and even storage bins. 


 

“I wanted to provoke those who think that the only possible future is super high-tech, with artificial intelligence and wi-fi built in everything. I think this will be only one part of it. The other will be extreme simplicity and customization. I don’t think that people will stop using massive furniture, but for the modern person who travels a lot and changes their location every few years, this may be a great solution.” 

The idea for TapeFlips came to Petar during his preparation for an international design competition exploring the topic of “Anti-fragility”. After reading Nassim Taleb’s Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder, Petar was intrigued by the question how to create furniture that didn’t suffer from the passage of time.

“According to Taleb, we are living in an age that is constantly changing and increasingly hard to predict, so we need to build our lives and our businesses in a way that they gain from that change instead of lose from it. I realized that in order for the entire system to not be fragile, its components needed to be. I used this concept for TapeFlips. I wanted to build a system of furniture where each of the components can be easily transformed, repaired, customized, and adapted. Even the materials needed to be very basic like tape and cardboard.”

The result is creative, innovative, and practical. TapeFlips can adapt easily - rearranging the parts gives you new setups, allows you to adjust dimensions (for example, the height of a desk or chair), and save space. The paper panels are light, waterproof, and the owner can easily print patterns on them. The tape behaves as hinges and ensures a 360 angle of rotation. As for durability, Zaharinov says that a chair, for example, has been tested to hold up to 100 kilos, but as tape is crucial for durability, his team plans to develop their own brand to ensure the quality of each piece.

Currently, TapeFlips biggest fans are environmentally conscious people and organizations, parents, and event organizers. The cardboard is recycled and recyclable. Building the furniture itself is a fun and bonding activity for parents and their kids, and the pieces are light and safe. They are also easy to carry, mobile and versatile, making them perfect for transforming event spaces and store windows.

For now, Petar’s plan is to continue testing the furniture with clients and build a community around the TapeFlips concept. The next stage will be finding an investor in order to begin mass production. 

Photos: TapeFlips

This is what aliens would 'hear' if they flew by Earth

A Mercury-bound spacecraft's noisy flyby of our home planet.

Image source: sdecoret on Shutterstock/ESA/Big Think
Surprising Science
  • There is no sound in space, but if there was, this is what it might sound like passing by Earth.
  • A spacecraft bound for Mercury recorded data while swinging around our planet, and that data was converted into sound.
  • Yes, in space no one can hear you scream, but this is still some chill stuff.

First off, let's be clear what we mean by "hear" here. (Here, here!)

Sound, as we know it, requires air. What our ears capture is actually oscillating waves of fluctuating air pressure. Cilia, fibers in our ears, respond to these fluctuations by firing off corresponding clusters of tones at different pitches to our brains. This is what we perceive as sound.

All of which is to say, sound requires air, and space is notoriously void of that. So, in terms of human-perceivable sound, it's silent out there. Nonetheless, there can be cyclical events in space — such as oscillating values in streams of captured data — that can be mapped to pitches, and thus made audible.

BepiColombo

Image source: European Space Agency

The European Space Agency's BepiColombo spacecraft took off from Kourou, French Guyana on October 20, 2019, on its way to Mercury. To reduce its speed for the proper trajectory to Mercury, BepiColombo executed a "gravity-assist flyby," slinging itself around the Earth before leaving home. Over the course of its 34-minute flyby, its two data recorders captured five data sets that Italy's National Institute for Astrophysics (INAF) enhanced and converted into sound waves.

Into and out of Earth's shadow

In April, BepiColombo began its closest approach to Earth, ranging from 256,393 kilometers (159,315 miles) to 129,488 kilometers (80,460 miles) away. The audio above starts as BepiColombo begins to sneak into the Earth's shadow facing away from the sun.

The data was captured by BepiColombo's Italian Spring Accelerometer (ISA) instrument. Says Carmelo Magnafico of the ISA team, "When the spacecraft enters the shadow and the force of the Sun disappears, we can hear a slight vibration. The solar panels, previously flexed by the Sun, then find a new balance. Upon exiting the shadow, we can hear the effect again."

In addition to making for some cool sounds, the phenomenon allowed the ISA team to confirm just how sensitive their instrument is. "This is an extraordinary situation," says Carmelo. "Since we started the cruise, we have only been in direct sunshine, so we did not have the possibility to check effectively whether our instrument is measuring the variations of the force of the sunlight."

When the craft arrives at Mercury, the ISA will be tasked with studying the planets gravity.

Magentosphere melody

The second clip is derived from data captured by BepiColombo's MPO-MAG magnetometer, AKA MERMAG, as the craft traveled through Earth's magnetosphere, the area surrounding the planet that's determined by the its magnetic field.

BepiColombo eventually entered the hellish mangentosheath, the region battered by cosmic plasma from the sun before the craft passed into the relatively peaceful magentopause that marks the transition between the magnetosphere and Earth's own magnetic field.

MERMAG will map Mercury's magnetosphere, as well as the magnetic state of the planet's interior. As a secondary objective, it will assess the interaction of the solar wind, Mercury's magnetic field, and the planet, analyzing the dynamics of the magnetosphere and its interaction with Mercury.

Recording session over, BepiColombo is now slipping through space silently with its arrival at Mercury planned for 2025.

Learn the Netflix model of high-performing teams

Erin Meyer explains the keeper test and how it can make or break a team.

Videos
  • There are numerous strategies for building and maintaining a high-performing team, but unfortunately they are not plug-and-play. What works for some companies will not necessarily work for others. Erin Meyer, co-author of No Rules Rules: Netflix and the Culture of Reinvention, shares one alternative employed by one of the largest tech and media services companies in the world.
  • Instead of the 'Rank and Yank' method once used by GE, Meyer explains how Netflix managers use the 'keeper test' to determine if employees are crucial pieces of the larger team and are worth fighting to keep.
  • "An individual performance problem is a systemic problem that impacts the entire team," she says. This is a valuable lesson that could determine whether the team fails or whether an organization advances to the next level.
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Photo by Martin Adams on Unsplash
Culture & Religion
She was walking down the forest path with a roll of white cloth in her hands. It was trailing behind her like a long veil.
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