studio for digital crafts

Generative furniture system for a bookshelf that utilises postage wrappings as structural elements.


How can we make use of otherwise wasted materials that have been used for shipping goods?
Ranke is a concept for a generatively created bookshelf adapted to the setting of a room. The 'shelf' is composed of two components: a wall mounted carrier runner with tabs and supports to attach individual customised slipcases which hold the books. The slipcases are easily fixed onto the runner which securely holds the books in place. The individual, fitted sleeves arrive with each book when it is delivered through the post, as they are formed from the cardboard wrapping in which the books arrive.

To generate the blueprints for the carrier runner and of the individual book packaging, a special software package was designed. A path-trace algorithm leads to the organic shape of the bookshelf which is adapted to the dimensions of the room, allowing the user to define the starting point of the shelf and its rough direction within the software editor. By the entering the ISBN of the book to be shipped, a second application generates the blueprints of the cardboard slipcases, which perfectly fit the books.

A toolkit is thus provided, facilitating the creation of individualised bookshelves using a laser cutter or a digital milling machine to produce the elements. This process is meant to be integrated within a book mail-order service, where the customer would receive both the individual components required for the shelf-runner, and the book with its tailor made holder, directly to their home.

This project grew from a close collaboration with Sebastian Schmieg and Korbinian Polk.

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