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Build modular furniture offers versatile honeycomb-like shelving


July 17, 2013

Build is a modular furniture system that comprises odd-shaped blocks that can be combined in various ways

Build is a modular furniture system that comprises odd-shaped blocks that can be combined in various ways

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Buying furniture usually means you're stuck with it for many years, until it either needs replacing or you can justify the cost of updating it with something newer. One simple way of changing things up is to buy modular furniture that can configured in a number of different ways. If chosen well this kind of purchase can last not only the ravages of time but also adapt to an individual's changing tastes and style. Which is where Build, a modular honeycomb-like furniture system, comes in.

Designed to offer versatility at an affordable price, Build comprises a set of odd-shaped plastic units which can be used and combined in a number of different ways. As well as being able to be used as standalone display case, a single Build unit can also be used as a box, a seat, or a step, while multiple Build units can be combined to form shelving units (both hanging from a wall and free-standing), partitions with built-in storage, and storage boxes (when stacked vertically). The unique shape of the Build modules was chosen to ensure there are flat surfaces available on which to place objects regardless of how the units are pieced together.

Each Build unit is made from ARPRO (expanded polypropylene), a high-performance plastic foam. The company promises this material is "completely toxic-free, emission free, allergy friendly and actually safe enough to eat!" – which isn't something we'd necessarily recommend trying. Build is also 100 percent recyclable, with single units able to be replaced individually.

The material is waterproof and resistant to chemicals and, because it is 95 percent air, extremely lightweight. Despite this, the company says it's also able to withstand an accident or two, with the material being resistant to shocks and strong enough to last for a long time. The Build units are joined together by special clips which hold them together in place. This means there is no need for complicated instructions or even simple tools.

The Build team is running an indiegogo campaign until 16 Aug, with the goal to raise US$100,000. If that goal is met, pledging $99 will get you three Build units, $195 will get you six, and $385 will get you 12. There are higher levels of funding available for small companies, with 72 Build units costing $2,195. All of these prices are slightly lower than the final RRP, and all have an estimated delivery of November 2013.

Build currently exists as CNC-milled prototypes, and the funding raised from the period of pre-ordering will be used to start production on the finished product. The whole process is expected to be completed by the end of the year. The video below shows Build in action and details some of the story behind its creation.

Sources: Hello Build, indiegogo

About the Author
Dave Parrack Dave is a technology journalist with a ravenous appetite for gadgets, gizmos, and gubbins. He's based in the U.K., and from his center of operations writes about all facets of modern and future technology. He has learned more in his five years writing for the Web than he did in 11 years at school, and with none of the boring subjects thrown in to the mix. All articles by Dave Parrack

The most obvious downside is by not being square shaped you can't add bins like these: http://i.imgur.com/NuqQGTt.jpg

The little Ikea bins cost like $3 each and have a zipper at the bottom if you need to collapse and store them flat. You can also generally stack stuff higher on a bin than you can on a shelf alone and they are good at hiding clutter like this: http://i.imgur.com/JDyClOF.jpg or this http://i.imgur.com/LMM5h2h.jpg

If the cost, lack of customization, or pressed wood is an issue building your own custom shelving to Ikea (expedit) cube sizes is a good cheap DIY project and you can still use their boxes with them.

Not to say this shelf is bad, I'm just an unapologetic Ikea fanboy.


I love these shelves. Finally something which is not squared and looks different. Guess these guys are actually aiming at NOT to be like IKEA, which I personally think is great.


I think this is very clever. I also think it has an artistic way of creating shelves that can be as different as the person using it.

I see the point of the other posts. Perhaps if they worked with Ikea, it could be less expensive?


The IKEA reference model is obvious. Nonetheless, this is interior design more suited to Tim Burton fans than anyone else. Should be a modest fad hit with college students, very much like pet rocks, (30 years ago).


While non-rectlinear shelving does look more organic, storing rectlinear objects (like books) within has the same visual appeal as a disorganized pile of stuff.


Ugly and a lot of wasted space. Not in my house.

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