For people in apartments and similar living conditions, space is always an issue. Sometimes you wish you could just fold all your stuff into small bundles when not needed, and you might be surprised at just how many things really can be folded. These seven designs are brilliant ways to lessen your clutter and the hassle of dealing with certain items.
Flux Folding Chair
If you have the money to burn, the $199 Flux Chair is a really novel twist on the folding chair. Not only does it have a unique modern design, it folds into an attractive shape as well. You can see in the images that it folds very flat and without the awkwardness of standard folding chairs. They’re so thin that 21 of them can be stacked in a foot of space, so they’re a fantastic choice for people living in apartments or lofts and don’t want chairs to be cluttering their living areas when not in use. Even stackable chairs take up a fair amount of space and are often an eyesore. Again, though, these are quite pricy, so they’re sadly not for everyone.
HotSpot Folding Grill
Grills can take up a lot of space, especially if you already have a small balcony such as at an apartment. Even the smaller, portable grills are often a bit awkward in shape, making them a pain to carry or store. I then discovered the HotSpot portable notebook grill is a standard charcoal grill which folds up into a flat and extremely portable shape, looking to be maybe about the size of a newspaper. Unfold it, add the metal grates and some charcoal, and you’ve got the perfect companion for camping, tailgate parties, or any time you simply want to grill something. At about $35, it’s also a very affordable solution.
Foldaboat: From Boat to Bag
After I found the Foldaboat, I was mildly dismayed to see it doesn’t exist other than as a project. The little 8.2-foot rowboat is composed of one piece of plastic, which can be folded into a small bundle far easier to carry around than a cumbersome boat. One could definitely imagine this design by Arno Mathies and Max Frommeld to be used as a sort of survival boat, carried around in situations where you might encounter water unsafe to wade or swim through.
Future Foldable Phones?
When this Origami Phone was announced, it seemed so simple, almost too simple to work. Designed by Chengyuan Wei, this is meant to be a replacement for your home/office phone rather than the miniature computer most of you carry around with you throughout the day. The flat phone folds out into a handset, to which a cord can be clipped at a contact point; it may not be the most necessary thing in the world, but there’s no denying that it’s a really neat and novel design considering that home phones haven’t changed much in the past few years.
Foldable Solar Cells
MIT scientists recently unveiled their design for solar cells, turning them into a foldable source of power by printing them on paper. Essentially, this could lead to some incredibly lightweight designs and the ability to make solar cells more flexible, both in the literal sense and in the figurative sense. Some possible ideas could be integrating solar cells in clothing or perhaps designing an outdoor car cover which will protect it from the elements and harvest solar energy.
[VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=21O0tBe-Alk ]
Sorena Foldable City Bike
As anyone who’s ever tried to carry or transport a bicycle knows, they can be pretty annoying. With their awkward dimensions, bicycles can be difficult to fit into a car and quite unwieldy to carry around yourself. The Sorena folding bicycle is one of many folding bike designs showcased out there, but one of my favorites. As you can see in the images, the Sorena bike folds into something which ends up looking more like a unicycle than a bicycle, taking up far less space. Designed by Mahdi Momeni, the Sorena looks as if it could even fit into a large backpack. If you live in an apartment building, you can imagine how much easier it would be to carry up and down stairs, as well as to store.
Land Peel’s Flat Furniture
The Land Peel is a very innovative design we’ve found, created by Shin Yamashita of the Kyoto Institute of Technology. It’s essentially a large floor mat, although parts of it can be folded out into objects. Some of the “furniture” included in the mat includes a floor desk, a tray, and small peaks which are essentially backrests, giving you various ways to lounge on the mat. It’s easy to see how this could be popular in Japan, a country where many live in small apartments and are culturally used to sitting on the floor at short tables (such as kotatsu). For anyone in need of practical furniture which can be easily folded out of sight, however, this could be a perfect way to keep from cluttering your living space.