LEGO master builder Mitsuru Nikaido creates detailed animal sculptures that will shock and awe you

Mitsuru Nikaido, a Kurashiki-based artist, makes sculptures of different animal species from LEGO building blocks.

Mitsuru Nikaido has been creating intricate sculptures out of LEGO building blocks for years. Backed with a wide-ranging and diverse portfolio, Nikaido feels most inspired to build his sculptures in the shapes of different animal species.

Designer: Mitsuru Nikaido

When constructing his sculptures, the Japanese LEGO enthusiast tends towards a cyberpunk aesthetic and gray-scale color palette to highlight his signature style. His varied collection includes LEGO sculptures of walruses, Huntsman spiders, crayfish, cicadas, triceratops, beetles, shoebills, and even microscopic water bears.

Based in Kurashiki, Nikaido mostly utilizes the gray-toned LEGO bricks, only relying on brightly-colored bricked to accentuate an animal’s defining feature, like a pair of electric eyes or a lustrous beak. While any one of Nikaido’s sculptures can impress without any movement, some of his works feature spring-loaded limbs, like flexible joints and a wagging tail, that shine a spotlight on the potential of LEGO building blocks.

Nikaido mostly exhibits his sculptures on his social media channels, and a select few of his pieces of artwork are for sale on his website. Alternatively, interested viewers can see his sculptures on display at the LEGO House in Denmark.

Nikaido’s Mecha Cicada creation.

Nikaido’s Mecha Beetle creation.

Nikaido’s Mecha Water Bear sculpture.

The post LEGO master builder Mitsuru Nikaido creates detailed animal sculptures that will shock and awe you first appeared on Yanko Design.

Meet Eilik, a feisty little AI robot that lives on your desk like a tiny Tamagotchi with a personality

Sure, we’re years away from getting our own JARVIS, but the Eilik is a step in that direction. With a personality that’s less like Stark’s AI and more like Baby Groot, the little robot stands obediently on your desk, letting you interact with it through voice commands and touch. Modeled with an aesthetic that’s highly reminiscent of Eve from Wall-E, the tiny bot responds, reacts, and engages back with you, giving you a little tabletop companion to make your day just a wee bit stress-free.

Designer: Shaw Yeung

Click Here to Buy Now: $109 $149 (27% off). Hurry, only 1268/3000 left! Raised over $650,000.

Instead of being a robot that prides itself on intelligence, efficiency, and accuracy, Eilik highlights an area that most robots often ignore – emotional intelligence. With its emotive personality, Eilik makes sure work never feels boring. Just like a Tamagotchi, the little robot demands attention, scowls when it doesn’t get any, and smiles when you tickle it or pat it on the head. It responds positively to rubs and pats, and gets annoyed when you flick at it. Lift Eilik off the ground and it gets scared of heights, and the best way to pacify it is to either calm it down by rubbing its head, back, or belly, or giving it food – in the form of magnetic little food replicas that attach to its movable arms.

Responds to touch.

Sensitive to quake.

Afraid of heights.

Eilik responds using its hands, head, and a dynamic display for a face. With highly expressive eyes that tell you how it’s feeling, Eilik even makes emotion-appropriate sounds and noises, sort of like an electronic pet that purrs on its own or mimics what you say like a physical Talking Tom. If left alone, Eilik will entertain itself (and you too), although you can even pair two Eiliks together and they’ll play with each other and occasionally even have adorable tussles and toddler-esque fights. Pair multiple Eiliks together and they literally form a tiny army that sings and dances in unison, like your own personal minions. Yes, they even sing Christmas carols!


The importance of Eilik, however, lies beyond its toy-like nature. It isn’t just another AI-powered tabletop pet, but rather, hopes to be the first step towards having real-life robot assistants in the future. Eilik relieves stress the way a pet would, but it also helps with work by acting as an alarm clock, a stopwatch, or a Pomodoro timer, with future updates adding even more functionality to your tabletop bot-buddy.

On the hardware front, Eilik is built with pretty sophisticated internals. The robot uses a proprietary EM3 servo motor that allows the hands to be more flexible and dexterous. In fact, the hands act as controls for the robot’s screen brightness and volume, allowing you to simply adjust them by lifting the hands up or down. A slew of sensors within the robot allows it to detect voices, touch, impact/shock, and even if it’s being elevated, and the robot effectively communicates using its dynamic face unit, speakers, and even a vibration motor that provides haptic feedback similar to an animal reacting to being petted.

Each Eilik comes as a standalone unit that stands at 5.2-inches tall, and ships with a manual, Eilik’s software, as well as a USB-C cord for charging it as well as connecting it to a PC to configure the bot. If your desk’s lacking a little panache and personality, Eilik’s available for a Kickstarter-special price of $99, with the little robo-buddy shipping in April 2022.

Click Here to Buy Now: $109 $149 (27% off). Hurry, only 1378/3000 left! Raised over $600,000.

The post Meet Eilik, a feisty little AI robot that lives on your desk like a tiny Tamagotchi with a personality first appeared on Yanko Design.

These winter-clothes are so advanced, they come with their own temperature-adjusting thermostat

We’ve got advanced heating systems in our homes and cars… now we’ve got them in our clothes. Meet the Quanta Vici, a collection of smart winter-wear that actually heats up to the exact temperature you choose!

Created by designers and engineers who’ve worked across companies like Ralph Lauren, BMW, and Adidas, the Quanta Vici line of gloves and socks presents the most cutting-edge technology in winter clothing. The smart fabric used in the apparel is deceptively thin and breathable too, yet the smart yarn comes with the ability to warm up to a temperature of your choice, helping you stay toasty even when you’re out in the snow.

Designer: Adrien Beyk of Quanta Vici

Click Here to Buy Now: $174 $269 (extra $15 off with coupon code “YANKODESIGN”). Hurry, sale ends Dec 15th.

With the ability to comfortably warm up to a wonderful 130F, Quanta Vici’s gloves and socks help perfectly cap off any winterwear outfit, ensuring that your extremities don’t end up feeling cold while your body feels warm. The apparel is app-controlled, charges via USB-C, and has a battery life of anywhere between 6 and 50 hours. Additionally, the gloves come with capacitive touch-sensitivity, which allows you to use your phone with the gloves on (you won’t be able to use the fingerprint unlock, obviously), while the socks have compression ribbing, anti-blister cushions, and arch support to make them comfortable over long hours. Both the gloves and socks are designed with a ventilation mesh too, to promote breathability and comfort over prolonged wearing, and are designed to be anti-slip too.

The Quanta Vici’s magnum opus remains its ability to let you choose your own temperature. Unlike traditional winter clothes, where you have to layer up if you’re feeling cold, or take off layers when you’re feeling warm, Quanta Vici’s confident answer to that problem is, “there’s an app for that”. The apparel’s Smart Heat function is powered by a temperature sensor and regulator embedded within the garment that lets you precisely choose the temperature you want your gloves and socks heated to, with evenly distributed heating. The companion smartphone app even remembers your favorite temperature presets, so you don’t need to set them over and over every time, and if that wasn’t advanced enough, it even lets you control the temperature using voice commands!

The electronics sit in a small tracker-sized device over your wrist. For inclement weather like blizzards, the electronic module’s rated to be IP67 waterproof, and the fact that it’s tracker-sized isn’t really a coincidence because it comes with tracking abilities too, letting you know if you’ve lost your smart gloves or if they’ve been stolen!

The Quanta Vici demonstrates a rather interesting shift in the world of fashion, and how fashion and tech can collide to solve problems better. Call me old-fashioned, but the words “voice-controlled thermostat gloves with anti-theft” sound sufficiently fancy to me. Aside from that, the Quanta Vici are sleek, breathable, comfortable, non-slip, and tech-friendly too, making them quite an all-round winner in our books. The Quanta Vici are perfect for all sorts of outdoor use, although they absolutely shine in winter sports like skiing. They’re designed to be safe and comfortable for everyone, especially people with health issues affected by cold temperatures, i.e., Raynaud’s Disease and Arthritis. Currently running as much as a 30% discount, the gloves and socks are available as individual pairs or bundled together. They come in a choice between 2 sizes too, and ship with a 1-year guarantee.

Click Here to Buy Now: $174 $269 (extra $15 off with coupon code “YANKODESIGN”). Hurry, sale ends Dec 15th.

The post These winter-clothes are so advanced, they come with their own temperature-adjusting thermostat first appeared on Yanko Design.

Earth Black Box is an indestructible recorder built by scientists to record climate change & civilization

This giant steel box sitting on a remote outcrop in Tasmania is an indestructible tool designed to outlive us all while recording every action and inaction towards climate change that affects our civilization…and it has already started recording! The Earth Black Box is similar to the black boxes that are designed to survive airplane crashes and provide investigators valuable data on what led to the disaster — except on a planetary scale so whoever finds it has access to all the data that led to our eventual downfall. Slipping into an existential crisis? The only way to combat that is dramatically changing the way we live and work towards sustainability on all accounts.

It is a 10-meter x 4-meter x 3-meter steel monolith located in Tasmania which was chosen for its geopolitical and geological stability, ahead of other candidates like Malta, Norway, and Qatar. The idea is that the Tasmanian site can cradle the black box for the benefit of a future civilization, should catastrophic climate change cause our downfall as we are currently on track for as much as 2.7 C of warming this century. The project is completely non-commercial and the guiding design principle is functionality, according to Jim Curtis from Clemenger BBDO.

The box will be made from 7.5-centimeter-thick steel, cantilevered off the granite, and will be filled with a mass of storage drives and have internet connectivity, all powered by solar panels on the structure’s roof. It will also include batteries that will provide backup power storage according to Jonathan Kneebone, co-founder of artistic collective the Glue Society that is a part of the project along with the researchers at the University of Tasmania.

When the sun is shining, the black box will be downloading scientific data and an algorithm will be gleaning climate-change-related material from the internet. It will collect measurements of land and sea temperatures, ocean acidification, atmospheric CO2, species extinction, land-use changes, as well as things like human population, military spending and energy consumption. It will collect contextual data such as newspaper headlines, social media posts, and news from key events like Conference of the Parties (COP) climate change meetings.

The black box will record backward as well as forward in time, to document how we got to where we are — pulling any available historical climate change data off the internet. And although construction of the housing structure itself will only begin early next year, the hard drives have already begun recording, beginning with the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow in November this year. Using compression and archiving, the developers estimate there will be enough capacity to store data for the next 30 to 50 years.

In the meantime, the team is investigating ways to expand that capacity and more long-term storage methods including inscribing to “steel plates”. It will enable the box to be far more efficient with how each tier of storage is used and make it possible to store data for hundreds, if not thousands of years. Gaining access to the box’s interior through its three-inch-thick steel casing will already require some ingenuity. “The idea is if the Earth does crash as a result of climate change, this indestructible recording device will be there for whoever’s left to learn from that,” says Curtis.

The developers presume whoever is capable of that will also be able to interpret basic symbols. “We are exploring the possibility of including an electronic reader that stays within the box and will be activated upon exposure to sunlight, also reactivating the box if it has entered a long-term dormant state as a result of a catastrophe.” It is not the first of its kind, we already have a doomsday vault full of seeds to restart agriculture and even a meteor-safe vault for Oreo recipes…you know, just in case you are craving a cookie post-apocalypse.

Designer: Earth Black Box


The post Earth Black Box is an indestructible recorder built by scientists to record climate change & civilization first appeared on Yanko Design.

This interactive lotus-shaped art installation moves in response to light!

Art installations like the Lotus Oculus have all the elements that make it a piece you can stare at for hours – it is intriguing, intelligent, and inspiring. This nature-inspired structure uses a smart material that mimics how flowers act when greeted by the sun, thus the dome also is reactive to light! Lotus Oculus was commissioned by Bulgari and was placed in the Modern Art Gallery in Milan.

The story began in 2010 with a little curiosity and a lot of research on smart materials. Studio Roosegaarde’s design team was searching for a material that looked like something that came from nature and also responded to stimuli in real-time. That is how smart flowers were born and over a decade, the studio has done multiple art installations evolving in scope and shape but maintaining the common factor – they all open in response to light and Lotus Oculus is the most recent one.

Lotus Oculus pays homage to the grandeur of the Pantheon and continues the legacy by creating an organic architecture of movement and shadows. This dynamic dialogue is what Daan Roosegaarde calls Techno-Poetry,” the artist explains. When you see the art in motion, it seems to breathe in the air around it. The geometric orb is made of several small panels of smart material and each of which curls into a flower shape when stimulated!

The entire exhibit comes to life as the parts fold and unfold in response to the changing environment and light intensity which presents a show of light and movement throughout the space. The interactive installation is a mix of art and design, it was awarded the A’Design Gold Award and Media Architecture Award Denmark. Some installations are permanent like the Lotus Maffei in the Palazzo Maffei Museum in Verona, Italy and the Lotus Dome in Sainte Marie Madeleine Church in Lille, France.

This striking installation draws you in, observe, move around it and bring the petals to life as you interact with it. Roosegaarde describes this tangible connection between light and material as “a metamorphosis of nature and technology. In search of a new harmony between people and the environment, Lotus is a work of art and a pilot for more organic architecture.”

Designer: Studio Roosegaarde

The post This interactive lotus-shaped art installation moves in response to light! first appeared on Yanko Design.

This modular origami tent built by space architects for the moon unfolds into 750 times it size!

Studying space exploration is a side hobby of mine so this extreme-weather resistant origami moon habitat is one of my dream homes. SAGA is a Danish architecture studio that designed LUNARK which is a modular shelter that expands and becomes 750 times its original size! It was crucial to design a structure that would be easily transportable (to the moon!), have a zero-waste ecosystem, and could withstand arctic temperatures and meteor showers – LUNARK does it all, in fact, it was taken out on a test run in Greeland by the architects themselves!

SAGA has one mission – make outer space a little cozier for future human inhabitants. The LUNARK habitat shows what can happen when the architect steps back and allows the extreme environment on the Moon and the high arctic to mold a habitat around human beings. LUNARK’s form was inspired by the patterns seen in a budding leaf as it unfolds and origami. It unfolds from a tight bud to a large ovoid shape with a rigid carbon fiber shell. Its exterior is tough as a tank while its interior is a cozy home with a sense of Nordic “hygge”.


The main exterior of the habitat is made from a black glossy carbon fiber shell. The carbon-fiber structure’s sandwiched panels with a foam core for extra insulation. Carbon fiber is ideal because it’s lightweight – which is crucial for transport and unfolding – yet strong. The panels are connected by a white foldable composite rubber and the main load-bearing structure is an aluminum frame.

Starting from the size of a small car, the carbon fiber shell can unfold to 750 times its size. Inside, solar-powered circadian panels mimic the light cycles on Earth, aiming to improve astronauts’ sleep patterns and general well-being. It is designed to counteract monotony, claustrophobia, and psychological stress.


With an inner volume of 17.2 sqm, LUNARK is designed to shelter two people at once. It is powered by a 1000 Ah solar-powered battery. It aspires to be a zero-waste shelter, leaving as little impact as possible on the environment. Inside the unfolding pod, there is space for a 3D printer (for printing spare parts if needed), stowage for batteries and water, and a living algae farm. LUNARK also has a series of in-built digital software systems, including a weather simulator to help break up the day-to-day monotony, and an algae reactor, to nurture and monitor a source of nutrition.

The main principle behind LUNARK is its expanding volume, as the structure expands 750% after transport while testing it was a great success as it was easy to unfold and strong enough to withstand the extreme environment. “The habitat worked beyond all expectations. The unfolding was possible by just two people and no heavy machinery – and in the extreme cold of the arctic. Furthermore, the interior design and spatial organization worked well. We are not trained professional astronauts, our tolerance is much lower. So we needed a much more pleasant living environment. We wanted to create a home, not a survival machine – and the habitat really ended up feeling like home,” adds Aristotelis.

Earlier in 2020, SAGA developed a prototype for LUNARK using the principles of Japanese origami folding with biomimicry. The two architects, Sebastian Aristotelis and Karl-Johan Sørensen, then went on a two-month mission to experience extreme isolation in northern Greenland where they tested LUNARK and its technologies themselves for future moon missions while enduring -30°c, hurricane winds, and hungry polar bears!


In the two months spent in extreme isolation in Greenland, SAGA collected data about the performance of the unfolding origami structure and the circadian light panels that form the artificial sky inside the habitat. The duo also collected data about their psychological wellbeing, the impact of isolation, and how to deal with conflicts under extreme conditions which will help them make LUNARK even better for real missions.

“We wanted to make the most realistic simulation mission. If we as architects want to test the effect of architectural countermeasures in space we also need to simulate a realistic amount of stress on the participants (in our case ourselves). The cold arctic was the best bet for that. At the same time, the arctic has the most similar lighting conditions to the moon. It’s far away, remote and isolated so the experiment conditions forced our design to be easy to deploy,” said Aristotelis.

Having lived for months in conditions that resemble those in outer space, the two young architects collected a significant amount of data which they will analyze with a focus on human well-being and psychology. “The future looks great, our design worked better than expected which puts us on a solid trajectory to build in outer space,” Aristotelis concludes. SAGA is not only focused on making brilliant space architecture but is also putting the mental health of the astronauts at the core of their design which makes them stand out among all others on our planet!

Designer: SAGA Space Architects


The post This modular origami tent built by space architects for the moon unfolds into 750 times it size! first appeared on Yanko Design.

This 3D printed urban reef is constructed from mycelium to increase biodiversity in cities!

Mycelium is a natural material taking over the sustainable design world one industry at a time! A Netherlands-based company is hopping on that train – they are experimenting with mycelium and computational design to create a series of 3D-printed urban reefs that will stimulate water circularity and biodiversity. In simpler terms, your concrete jungle where dreams are made of will be more jungle and less concrete so more living organisms can thrive!

Dutch designer duo Pierre Oskam and Max Latour came up with this innovative solution to make cities more biodiverse. It involves using natural materials to create structural ecosystems that can be integrated within existing environmental elements (eg. fountains). A 3D printer is used to create complex geometrical designs with porous materials like ceramics and composites (made from coffee grounds and mycelium). The moisture in the air is able to pass through and create the perfect environment for various fungi to grow thus bringing the structures to life!

“The most feasible option we are working with is ceramics, but since baking it requires a lot of energy we are investigating more sustainable alternatives,” says Latour. The studio is also experimenting with materials made from coffee and algae. At present, the team has developed two concept products as a result of their research, first in the form of the “Rain Reef” rain collector with an undulating shape that increases the contact area of the water and the potential hatching surface for vegetation.

“It is 3D printed with a porous material (made from a mixture of seeds, coffee grounds and mycelium), which can get saturated with the collected rainwater, making it accessible to vegetation growing on the outside,” explains Latour. “The intention is to develop a printable material which is porous, durable, sustainable and bio-receptive.”

The second product is the “Zoo Reef”, which Urban Reef intends as a substitute for fountains in cities. “There is a lot of potential for biodiversity stimulation around urban fountains,” says Oskam. “We propose a complex labyrinth of spaces which are all interconnected. By differentiation in sizes, orientation regarding sun, wind and rain, varieties of microclimates would develop.”

“Rather than determining top-down which organisms should live where, a range of potential habitats is generated.” They might be early in the research and development phase but Latour and Oskam’s Urban Reef project could have real-world applicators in the future. As an idea, it’s not so dissimilar from a living wall, except in this case the choice of materials and the structural design promotes their integration within cities without human intervention.


“At Urban Reef we consider the city as a potential habitat to organisms, not exclusively humans,” the duo explains. “We position ourselves as human within the natural environment deviating from the modernist view of the human transcending nature. From that perspective, we aim to gain a profound knowledge of natural processes to both integrate those in our design methods as well as design with ecologies in mind.”

Designer: Pierre Oskam and Max Latour


This angular passive house is built on a tilt in New Zealand and leans into the wind!

This modern house in New Zealand is a passive structure that won an award from the New Zealand Institute of Architects for its sense of fun and how the design carries through from outside to inside – it makes you feel like you are on a holiday but in a home that you can stay in all year round. The Long Grass House harmoniously blends affordability, sustainability, and liveability!

The use of inexpensive plywood in the interior and steel cladding on the exterior gives it an evergreen yet modern aesthetic with contrast. The interiors are engaging, with plenty of space, natural light, and material warmth. The design approach has been focused on including what is really needed in order to produce what is sufficient; positively reducing waste of both space and construction materials.

It showcases a simple plan for a medium-sized house with a spacious te garage and an interesting layout of the bathroom, laundry, and entrance. The garage and main structure complement each other and almost look like two perfectly angled Lego blocks! The jury that presented the award noted how the Long Grass House is a great example 0f how to use inexpensive materials and get real value out of them.

The angled ends are supposed to appear to be leaning into the prevailing wind, but it’s really a clever energy-saving trick to create overhangs that shade the windows from the northern sun. The architect notes: “The form of the building is compact giving a low form factor, and with its compactness comes low energy demand. Passive House Energy calculations were used to drive design decisions – using current climate data and predicted future climate data.”

A panoramic skylight runs near the length of the building and connects to a vertical window and you can see it from the inside in the kitchen. This light is minimal but eye-catching detail in the house which is designed with thrifty detailing, colourful trimmings, and simple geometric shapes. The wooden stairway leads to a loft above the bathroom and laundry.

“Every material and surface here is durable and will take some hard knocks—something that was central to all material decisions, including cladding. We wanted to ensure that every product we specified would stand the test of time in this harsh environment and be suitable for the family to live in with its changing needs for years to come,” said the team.

The house gets a lot of attention for the slopes that lean into the wind, but the real appreciation should go towards the simplicity and economy of the materials used throughout. Steel siding is one of the most durable and affordable materials for the exterior. While plywood is perfect for long-lasting interiors without increasing costs and maintaining a timeless look. The compact structure helps ensure low energy demand and Passive House Energy calculations were used to drive many design decisions using current and future (predicted) climate data. Long Grass House is perfect for a modern, eco-conscious family looking for a forever home on a budget!

Designer: Rafe Maclean

The world’s most innovative beehive makes beekeeping efficient, reduces waste & gets honey on tap!

Bees are essential to keeping multiple ecosystems in balance as they pollinate trees and crate food for other animals – they are essential for our survival! Now coming to the little ‘sweet’ things we all love about bees is that they also produce honey. Beekeeping is an ancient practice and beehives have hardly gotten design upgrades but Flow Hive is changing the game. These beehives are good for the bees, innovative, reduce waste, and are so efficient that you actually get honey on tap…literally!

The Flow Pollinator House not only benefits bee populations in your yard, but the proceeds also support advocacy groups across the country. This bee shelter and hive is made by a father-son duo who took a different approach to honey harvesting that is less stressful to the bees and their keeper. It features a mechanism that simply releases the honey straight into jars without the hassles typically associated with the harvest.

The Flow Pollinator House not only benefits bee populations in your yard, but the proceeds also support advocacy groups across the country. This bee shelter and hive is made by a father-son duo who took a different approach to honey harvesting that is less stressful to the bees and their keeper. It features a mechanism that simply releases the honey straight into jars without the hassles typically associated with the harvest.

The process of making the Flow Hive results in cutoff waste, so the company decided it was time to make use of it. Upcycling the sustainably sourced bamboo and salvaged Araucaria timber from the production of the Flow Hive models resulted in the development of the Flow Pollinator House. The house offers protection for hard-working native solitary nesting bees. It encourages them to work nearby, pollinating gardens, flowers and other plants in the vicinity. The Flow Pollinator House comes flat-packed as a DIY kit, complete with everything you’ll need to build it. You can create a custom format by choosing how to arrange the wood tubes and design the exterior to your liking with stain or paint.

Because the house kits originate from leftover wood materials, there are a limited number of Flow Pollinator Houses for the season. They can make a great gift for the gardener, nature lover or advocate in your life. Plus, the product line is a benefit program with the company committing to donate 100% of all proceeds to U.S.-based pollinator advocacy, education, and protection groups.

“The honey bee is one of 19,000 bee species in the world that are essential to pollination and life on this planet as we know it,” said Cedar Anderson, CEO and founder of Flow Hive. “We created this upcycled pollinator home to provide a safe place for solitary bees to raise their young, while offering our customers a fun, family-friendly project to build together. By creating this habitat in your backyard, together we are building the stepping stones across the urban landscape which may just help save some of these important species from the brink of extinction.” Flow Hive is a truly bee-utiful upgrade for the bees!

Designer: Honey Flow

This folding chair is inspired by origami and can be literally hung like clothes on a hanger!

Chair designs are the first category designers are told to explore because it is simple and yet the smallest of tweaks can make it innovative. Also, let’s accept it – you never get tired of looking at new chair designs! It could be a new material, a bold shape, maybe it has a dual purpose or something like KERF – a space-saving chair that you can literally hang up like clothing!

It can be called a stool or a chair, but KERF gives the otherwise rigid object warmth and flexibility. You can literally put it on a hanger and store it like clothing in a wardrobe which makes it stand out from its counterparts. When needed, simply open the fold and you can get a setup ready for your guests in a few seconds.

The intention was to enrich plywood, make it flexible and fold it like it was paper for origami art. KERF has been designed for small living spaces and for practicality, it is perfect for those living in urban apartments or shared spaces. It reminds me of Japandi style furniture or Scandinavian home decor with its warm and minimal aesthetics.

The unique chair gets its name from the technique of kerfing – it is the method of bending plywood by patterned cutting. It is only good for doing it once to achieve the desired curvature, but not suitable for repetitive, long-term bending because that would cause the veneer layer to crack. The kerfing technique can be optimized for the CNC milling process to save production time and cost.

The mood board for the project shows bending plywood with kerfing, flat-pack laser cut furniture, folding chairs, and interlocking leather belts – all of these come together in the final design as details. The chair kerfing, the hinges are made from leather, it can be compactly packed and it has an origami-like silhoutte.

To make sure it was durable yet flexible, Hamza decided to use thick leather instead of hinges. This detail lets KERF withstand repetitive bending cycles while the alternative hinge (leather) can outlast the traditional hinge making it a piece of furniture that stays with you in the long run (its moving-friendly too!). KERF is definitely a wonderful example of how chairs can be simple while still adding on to the existing form and function!

Designer: Hamza Bavčić