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Sunday, 7 April 2013

Smart materials get smarter

In the news this week was Belgian engineer and designer Carl de Smet, who believes he may have a solution to the flat-pack furniture assembly conundrum so many are faced with each time they visit IKEA.

Not handy with a spanner? Too proud to look at the instructions? Read on.

Carl, in his workshop-come-house, works with Shape Memory Polyurethane (SMPU for short), a smart material which can expand to many times its initial size when heated, to a prefabricated design.

Carl sees a future where you can pop out, buy a small roll of SMPU, heat it up at home and voilĂ , a new chair, or table, or whatever takes your fancy.

Even better, the designs can be re-shaped, meaning that if you decide you don't like the look of an item or get bored of it, you can just change it to your heart's content!

To see some of Carl's designs, visit his website here.

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