You have read that correctly there is a new type of furniture that uses inflatable steel to make chairs, stools and coat stands. This may seem mad but designer Oskar Zieta from Poland has managed to create a method of using thin steel sheets that can be inflated to make lightweight and durable furniture.
The steel sheets that are used are only 1mm thick and are placed on top of each other and sealed using a laser welder. The sheets are then pumped with a bicycle pump into a valve and the result is incredible. This technique can be used to make ladders, coat stands, chairs and stools, however more designs are on the way.
"We call it 'controlled loss of control'," explains Zieta. "It means every piece is one of a kind." What he means by this is that when blown up the shape of the furniture deforms giving it a unique shape. A trained architect, Zieta, 36, developed the FiDU (Free Inner Pressure Deformation) whilst studying methods of stabilising sheet metal at ETH Zurich.
His first design the “Plopp” chair has received awards for its design such as the Red Dot Design Award and at around 250 euros each has already made a mark on the commercial market. These chairs would look great as outdoor furniture for cafes or bistros as they can be deflated for an easy storage solution.
Another great feature of this type of furniture is that it can be shipped all over the world easily as it is a flat lightweight sheet. Hundreds of chairs can be placed in a small box. There are no new designs as yet but perhaps we can see this type of furniture making its way into offices. Perhaps an office desk that can be inflated and deflated to move for those who need to have a mobile office? This may only be a pipe dream, but it is comforting to know that this technology is out there.