Faltbarer Schrank – foldable cabinet

Appreciation of the winner
by Peter Nickl – Chamber of Crafts for Munich and Upper Bavaria

Juries often debate whether to award a prize because of an entry’s perfect form and execution or because of the innovation and originality of the idea. This was the case with Matthias Andrione’s submission of a foldable cabinet and a system for its assembly. From the outside, the cabinet looks somewhat improvised and rather simply styled.

It was the simplicity underlying this piece of furniture in particular, however, that had the jury convinced; the simplicity with which each of the elements of the system have been made – they were sawn and milled – as well as the simplicity of the cabinet’s basic shape which is based on a square and is complemented by halved, quartered or shortened pieces.

The principle of the cabinet’s construction also is simple: a rubber ring is placed into milled grooves which facilitates the tight connection of two elements at right angles, strengthening the elements and stabilizing them in a cube on three levels – and the assembly of several cubes into a piece of furniture. At the same time, the connecting element serves as a hinge which facilitates opening the walls of the boxes to an angle of 360 degrees. Thanks to the many variations this principle of construction offers, the system can be assembled into shelves, cabinets, racks, sideboards, stools or boxes and facilitates storage space even in small rooms.

The piece of furniture can be assembled and disassembled easily and without tools. Elements that are not in use can be stored with minimum space requirements. The simplicity of the furniture has inert aesthetics that can be used deliberately and individually in room design. In addition, the cost should be low due to the simplicity of the system’s production – a characteristic that is typical of this type of furniture. The piece exudes optimism and a certain ingenious temperament that inevitably is transferred to the users. Young people dealing with scarce living space and employment and income opportunities are given the option to design their homes or workplaces in an imaginative, rational, effective and cost-efficient manner – a feature the jurors wanted to emphasize by awarding the State Prize to the foldable cabinet.

The winner, who was trained to be a reprographer, developed his invention in cooperation with a master locksmith and a carpenter.

Matthias Andrione

The work was suggested by the Bayerischer Handwerkstag