When you hear the words “flat pack furniture” you might automatically think of IKEA furniture, but Dutch contemporary designer Robert van Embricqs has created a collection of furnishings—known as Rising Furniture—that will make you think again.
To create his innovative designs, Embricqs asked himself, “To what degree is the object you’re creating capable of dictating its own design?” Exploring this premise to the fullest, he sought inspiration in nature, observing the intricate transformations found in the natural world around him.
Embricqs’ chairs, tables, and bowls start life as flat, single pieces of bamboo. The designer then carves incision patterns to create “woven” bamboo beams that elegantly transform into unique, functional pieces of furniture. Each piece then opens up to find its final form, like a flower in bloom. When not in use, they can be seamlessly folded back up again along barely visible hinges, concealing their secret structure.
Embricqs sees the collection as a collaboration between himself and the material, whereby the final outcome couldn’t be fully predicted. Explaining the end stage of creating a piece, he says, “I still didn’t know what shape the chair would take in the end. This was determined by the various arches of the wooden beams the chair is made of. Folding the chair into its definitive form, as a creator, a special connection to the material was born.”
The Rising Chair has taken part in many international exhibitions and trade fairs, and in 2011 it won the Red Dot design award. Scroll down to see many of his other transforming furniture designs.