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Hex key be gone! Flatpack furniture assembles using magnets


December 17, 2013

The MAG furniture line (Photo: Benjamin Vermeulen)

The MAG furniture line (Photo: Benjamin Vermeulen)

Image Gallery (14 images)

Flatpack furniture may be easier to get home than the already built variety, but getting to grips with fiddly screws, hex keys and "simple to follow" instructions can soon eat away at your free time, and your patience. Designer Benjamin Vermeulen aims to remove the hassle from this chore with his range of magnetic furniture which simply snaps into place, no tools required.

Dubbed Magnetic Assisted Geometry, (or MAG), Vermeulen's furniture line currently consists of a chair, a table, and a cabinet. The furniture looks attractive and is made from steel and wood, snapping together during assembly thanks to carefully placed powerful magnets.

Assuming the furniture remains as structurally sound as one would hope, this idea offers real benefits: no more worry of losing an essential screw during assembly, while also allowing far easier disassembly should you wish to move or sell the furniture. Additionally, replacing parts should be easier since there's no need to unscrew anything first.

We've currently no word on availability or pricing for the MAG furniture line, but will let you know as soon as we hear back.

The video below shows some furniture being assembled.

Source: Benjamin Vermeulen via Dezeen

About the Author
Adam Williams Adam scours the globe from his home in North Wales in order to bring the best of innovative architecture and sustainable design to the pages of Gizmag. Most of his spare time is spent dabbling in music, tinkering with old Macintosh computers and trying to keep his even older VW bus on the road. All articles by Adam Williams

Since it is easy to assemble with magnets, would it not be just as easy to take it apart? It does not sound very sturdy.


looks like they kinda treat the stuff with care. No pushing on diagonal (to show sturdiness), and he sits on the chair a bit gingerly - not at all like I typically just flop down. . .


I would think that snap-together components would be more structurally sound. The latching of snap-together brackets would provide much stronger bonds between parts than magnets.

Now I'm off to invent some easily-snapped-together latches.

Roger Garrett

If one could make very small 'click' joiners (like hose plus accessory connectors), that should work. To dissemble, pull the little joint back and they separate easily. The hard part would be making that little ring accessible once it was all built.

The Skud

I wouldn't place a credit card on one of the desks - the magnets would wipe the magnetic strip for you! And imagine what it would do to old style computer disks!



And what would happen if I want to store my magnetic monopoles in the cabinet?


It takes at least a 700 gauss magnetic field, moving relative to the strip on a card, to wipe it.

There's a Mythbusters episode on that. They tried all kinds of permanent magnets, stationary and in motion, none wiped the cards. So their next try was with an electromagnet. They kept cranking up the strength but it wouldn't erase the cards.

They were placing the cards on the magnet, turning it on, then turning it off to remove the card to pass through a reader to see if it'd been affected.

Then one time they forgot to turn off the magnet before removing the card. Bingo! Data wiped.

From there they stepped down the magnet strength, each time moving the card through the field, until it stopped erasing the data.

This was a magnet at some distance from the cards during the moving tests. In a card writer, tape recorder or floppy disk drive the heads are in contact with the media so the field can be a high enough gauss without needing a lot of electrical power.

So your credit cards will be safe around this furniture. On the other hand, some cell phones can generate a strong enough, fluctuating magnetic field to corrupt the data on magnetic stripe cards such as credit cards and hotel room keys.

Gregg Eshelman
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