Chairigami, New Haven, Conn.-based outfitter of “cardboard furniture for the urban nomad,” is jumping on the standing desk trend — a productivity-boosting, health-benefiting craze that’s already sparked a bit of a mini-revolution at MNN headquarters in Atlanta. (As for my own desk habits, I’m going to go ahead and fully admit that I’m very much currently not standing. And not exactly sitting, either).
To be clear, the young cardboard wizard behind Chairigami, a former mechanical engineering student at Yale and one-time intern at the Adaptive Design Association named Zach Rotholz, has been onto the standing desk movement for a while now: Chairigami standing desks are already one of the lightweight, easy-to-assemble, and fully recyclable Chairigami offerings alongside coffee tables, shelving units, traditional desks, and the design that started it all, an arm chair.
The thing is, at three-years-old Chairigami has always been a grassroots, handcrafted type of operation based out of a “small cardboard carpentry store" that also serves as a retail storefront. With the rising popularity of standing desks (one of the company’s most popular existing products), Rotholz is seeking to significantly boost production while still keeping things local by partnering with a Connecticut-based manufacturing facility. And he needs your help during this crucial home stretch.
Rotholz’s recently launched Kickstarter campaign has already well-exceeded its initial $25,000 crowdfunding goal (as of publication, the amount is hovering a little above $40,000). The campaign page explains why exactly Rotholz is looking to spread Cardboard Standing Desk love to the masses:
Meet the cardboard standing desk. Put simply, a standing desk allows you to work on your feet rather than sitting idly. When you are standing up you are free to move. Standing while working requires balance, engaging your back, shoulders, and leg muscles, burning energy, and keeping you focused. It's a great way to make working healthier.
We noticed that office-worthy standing desks are ridiculously expensive. Standing desks range from $500 to over $2000 and the only alternative is to hack together solutions from furniture parts. So, we redesigned the standing desk from scratch to make it both elegant and affordable.
Here's where our hero, corrugated cardboard, comes in. Corrugated cardboard is lightweight, durable, recyclable, and inexpensive. It's the perfect medium for a new breed of standing desks.
After months of prototyping and testing with our New England manufacturing facility, we whittled the standing desk down to its most basic form, minimizing material and maximizing functionality. No glues, fasteners, or extraneous parts, simply folded cardboard. The cardboard standing desk was born. Made in America and proud of it.
“While the standing desk has been a huge success, my production is limited and costly because I produce the desks by hand in my retail store,” explains Rotholz. “To make the cardboard standing desk available to all the unsatisfied sitters out there, we need your help. The production of cardboard standing desks isn't easy. We need to invest in large, expensive rotatory dies that will punch out our designs from corrugated cardboard sheets. We also need to purchase excellent quality corrugated cardboard for both the standing desks and their retail-worthy packaging.”
He adds: “The most important reason for launching this kickstarter is to allow you to design and create your own office space. Cardboard is an open source material that is both easy to hack and forgiving to work with. We think it’s important to break down the barriers that prevent people from creating ergonomic and energizing work environments. With the cardboard standing desk, we hope to bring sustainability, creativity, and spontaneous collaboration to the workplace of the future.”
Good stuff. As for the basic specs of this clever cardboard workstation, as mentioned, it's lightweight (only 15 pounds), strong (it can hold up to 300 pounds), and super easy to construct via simple folding and slotting — the flat-packed pieces take less than 5 minutes to assemble without the need for adhesives, glues, aspirin, etc. The desk stands 42-inches tall and accommodate non-sitters between 5-foot-2-inches and 6-foot-2-inches tall.
And as mentioned by Rotholz,, the minimalist Chairigami Standing Desk serves as a blank canvas for hackers and artists — have at it with paint, a Sharpie, glitter glue, fabric, or what have you. Users can also drill holes for power cords and further customize the desk as they see fit.
Although a limited number of early bird offerings have already been snatched up by Kickstarter backers but you can still pre-order a Chairigami Standing Desk for a donation starting at $85 which is still a great deal (the existing Chairigami Standing Desk sells for $120). The Kickstarter campaign wraps up on April 12; the desks are expected to ship to backers in July.
Any thoughts, Standing Desk Nation?
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