Location: Zichron Yaakov, Israel
Completion: August 2011
Fabrication - Tali Buchler, with the help of family and friends
Wall fabrication – Ran Efrony
Photography - Nirit Gur-Karby
Outside the box is a modular furniture system, made of recycled materials, designed for the community center in Zichron Yaakov, Israel. The Center needed a waiting-play area in the lobby for parents and kids waiting in-between activities. Limited time and budget constrains led me to work with simple forms and simple materials, developing a system that is not only functional but also brings out the creative side in children as well as adults. While waiting around for classes to start or end, kids use oversized blocks to construct from their imagination and/or draw images on the pixel cork wall.
Being an educational center it was important for me to inspire the community for green living, by using primarily recycled materials, showing a simple way to construct furniture as an alternative for buying.
The design includes five elements:
A cork pixel wall
The living room
The building blocks:
The units are made from discarded cardboard and tape, making them lightweight and manageable for play. They are designed as a modular system of interlocking cubical shapes. The dimensions and proportions of the elements are such that they can be used for play as well as for sitting. The boundaries between functionality and play disappear, whereby a chair can become a train or a brick in a fortress.
The stage is constructed of reused shipping wooden pallets, creating 2 elongated rectangles that can be placed side by side to create a square or a long rectangle. The stage changes the levels of the floor and defines a play area without forcing a limitation on it. Placing a stage within the space also encourages children’s natural desire to perform.
A cork pixel wall:
The wall is 5 meter long by 2 meter tall plywood panel, with 4000 holes that can be filled with colored wine cork caps to create a pixel image. The wall also serves as a means for exercising simple motor skills
The pixel wall is homage to the traditional industry of wine making in Zichron Yaakov.
The living room:
A series of sofas made of cardboard upholstered with colorful fabric creating a living room like space. Each seat is made of 2 "L" shapes nesting; one "L" creates the arm while the other forms the back. Each shape is covered with a different pattern, together creating new textile. Like the building blocks, the sofas are light weight by nature and are often used for play.
The display wall:
The wall is dedicated to exhibiting the inner workings of cardboard furniture construction, to teach and inspire.
Outside the box is a space that encourages people to explore and express their creativity instead of just passively sit and wait. It is a platform to express ones imagination. It was created as an open ended dynamic system with the pieces and elements designed to prompt people using it to re-create the space each time they inhabit it. It is an ever-changing landscape determined by the moods and imagination of it's users.