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KP_The Aesthetics of Efficiency

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In a world, where we’re becoming ever more aware of limited and declining resources, and where current production processes and individual lifestyles are far beyond the threshold of subsistence, a new challenge arises to the designer/architect: To create products and buildings, which a priori propose a solution to overconsumption and overproduction. Products, which ideally both instigate an alternative to the status quo and which challenge current processes towards a more sustainable future.

The Berlin based firm 16boxes took this challenge seriously and designed the 16boxes System Shelf, which uses 67% to 75% less material than comparable products on the market. After being among the selected designs for the Green Product Award 2020 and nominated for Deutscher Nachhaltigkeitspreis 2021, the company now wants to go even further. Whilst their current production line is already highly efficient, there remains a certain amount of unused plywood cut-outs, which could be used for other products that follow the same philosophy. Employing computational design and fabrication methods the goal of this short project is to not only design and prototype a useful product, which can be manufactured on the existing production line, but also emphasize the novel possibilities that arise from digital technologies. The most advanced and innovative ideas have the chance of being placed with the 16boxes product line.


While everything about the design of the 16boxes System Shelf focuses on sustainability and efficiency the firm still struggles in solving one particular point of wastefulness: during production, there is an overproportion of plywood cut-outs, which cannot be used for other parts. What types of furniture can be created from these cut-outs with the highest material efficiency and functionality?

- The design needs to be a functional and pluggable object of everyday use, which can be self-assembled by the user in short time

- The assembly should be playful and enjoyable

- The wood cut-outs need to be used and further processed through CNC and/or with other serial wood working machines

- Further leftover materials from industrial production can be incorporated

- Mass manufactured supplier parts can be used, IF there is a necessity given in terms of form and function

- Parts can be 3D-printed or digitally fabricated using adjacent technologies

The final design must be novel and shouldn’t already be on the market -


Phase 0, 05.10.20, 11:00: Kick-Off

Phase 1, 06.-07.10.20: Research and Construction System

07.10.20, 13:00: Intermediate Presentation

Phase 2, 08.-12.10.20: Design Concept and 1:10 Model

09.10.20, 13:00: Feedback Session

12.10.20, 13:00: Intermediate Presentation

Phase 3, 13.-16.10.20: Prototyping and 1:1 Mockup

14.10.20, 13:00: Feedback Session

16.10.20: Final Presentation


Integriertes Design

Kurzprojekt Produktdesign / Technologien


Wintersemester 2020 / 2021