Ian Charnas

Cardboard Lounge

Cardboard furniture installation at Toby's Plaza in Cleveland, Ohio

It's not actually cardboard

Well, it is. But cardboard isn’t what you think it is. As the manufacturer was quick to point out, cardboard is the thin stuff cereal boxes are made of.

Meanwhile, the brown boxes your Amazon purchases come in are made of a wavy fluted layer sandwiched between two flat layers, and the proper name for that material is corrugated fiberboard. Now you know!

No matter what you call it, these chairs and tables are surprisingly strong!

My role in all of this

To celebrate the 2018 Cleveland Triennial art festival, I recruited a team of makers to participate in a design charrette to develop cardboard furniture prototypes.

The Putnam Art Committee at Case Western Reserve University voted for their favorite design – the “Flower Pot” chair and table concept by Ray Krajci and Kate Hart – which was then manufactured by Jamestown Container and installed at Toby’s Plaza throughout the festival.  

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Designs by Matthew Canel, Jerray Dewa, Andrew Dupuis, Kate Hart, Raymond Krajci, Ryan Laganson, and Yanzhou Wang

Special thanks to Kathy Barrie, Katie Brancato, Sam Hanlon, Laura Klingler, and the University Circle Ambassadors

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