At a glance 1 min

Furniture of the future

Furniture of the future
Furniture of the future

Had enough of furniture assembly instructions written in gibberish? Belgian designer Carl de Smet de Noumenon may just have THE answer with the hi-tech "smart" furniture foam he is developing that can be squeezed down to five percent of its original size for easy transport and then “puffed up” again like popcorn.

When heated to 70°, the foam expands and gradually takes on the chosen design form. It then takes another ten minutes for the furniture item to harden and become rock-solid. Any shaping flaws can be eliminated by simply melting and re-forming.
A smart-foam technology-based design, the SMPU, "shape memory polyurethane" lets you design furniture to the shape you need or want.

Carl de Smet’s furniture is still only at the prototype stage, but the designer is hoping to have them on the market in 2014. People will then be able to buy original furniture that swells up like popcorn. And pack away screws, drills and hammers!

More information

If you enjoyed this article, you'll love the next!
  • Sensorwake: wake up gently
    Cutting Edge
    Sensorwake: wake up gently

    Sensorwake, the first olfactory alarm clock, is a marvel of technology. It wakes users up gently by diffusing fragrances from capsules: chocolate, cappuccino, orange juice, biscuits, freshly-cut grass...

  • From the lab to in-vivo experimentation: a new approach to innovation
    Expert views 3 min
    From the lab to in-vivo experimentation: a new approach to innovation

    An interview with two protagonists of the Smart House project, Europe's first experimental house designed for testing the behaviour of plastics at home: Virginie Delcroix, Director of Research and Dev...

  • Hyperelastic 3D bone
    At a glance 1 min
    Hyperelastic 3D bone

    3D-printing and grafting a flexible artificial bone in an operating theatre: that was the technological and scientific challenge that researchers at Chicago's Northwestern University decided to take o...