Anyone who has tried to live the urban lifestyle knows living space can be a scarce resource. The average size of a new apartment in the U.S. in 2018 is 941 square feet, 5 percent smaller than 10 years ago, according to RENTCafe Blog, and in Seattle, Manhattan and Chicago they are substantially smaller, leaving little space beyond a bed and kitchen table.
Apartments in Paris, Berlin, London, Tokyo and other international cities are even smaller for those with limited financial resources.
Now, a Purdue University design expert has come up with a solution to help in tight spots. Tong Kim, an associate professor of industrial design in Purdue’s College of Liberal Arts, created a stackable furniture option.
“Our Share Chair design offers a convenient furniture and sitting option for those living with limited space,” Kim said. “This innovation is part of our effort to create furniture design processes and products to change lean manufacturing across the world.”
The Share Chair is a barstool-style chair with a stackable, interlocking system that allows someone to use it as a single stacked chair or as two or three separate chairs. The design has a modern look intended to add a decorative touch to the space, especially when used as the single stacked chair option.
Kim said the furniture is ideal for young professionals living in small apartments or for restaurants and businesses looking to make the most of limited space in downtown settings.
“Our stool design also opens up new possibilities for businesses that are embracing the open environment office concept,” Kim said. “This chair can be a space-saving and ergonomic option for workers in offices designed to facilitate open communication and seating.”
Kim said the Share Chair ships as one complete unit to reduce shipping costs by more than 30 percent. He said shipping costs typically account for one-third of the overall costs for manufacturing goods, and that shipping in one package eliminates some of the waste associated with more conventional furniture shipping methods.