Interior design relies on changing styles to keep things interesting. New trends and color schemes have a way of dictating the trajectory of new products. Then, there are interior design products that stand the test of time and changing trends. These are the pieces of furniture that move with us from apartment to apartment. Student designers Rasmus Palmgren and Hanna Höglund gave their own remix of the traditional bookshelf, designing a foldable bookshelf that consists of shelves, a cabinet, and a drawer.

Timeless pieces of furniture like bookshelves and armoires seem to be most functional when they’re stripped down and designed to accommodate their most essential use. At first, Palmgren’s and Höglund’s bookshelf appears as an ordinary, minimal bookshelf, but a closer look reveals the intricate cabinetry work that went into the ‘Fold Shelf’s’ design. The folding mechanisms that fill out Fold Shelf also allow the unit to shrink down to nearly half its size compared to when it’s fully opened and ready for use. The designers say that Fold Shelf was designed as a Swedish cabinetmaker’s, or journeyman’s piece, requiring the incorporation of a pull-out drawer, hinges, veneered surfaces, and joints.

In building Fold Shelf, Palmgren and Höglund hoped to create a piece of furniture for flexible living, allowing owners to bring the bookshelf with them as they move to different places. Fold Shelf is filled out with wooden hinges that comprise a folding system, allowing the shelf unit to be dismantled and reassembled without the use of tools or additional hardware. Each individual shelf is connected to the unit’s frame and forms an X via wooden beams that merge at a wooden hinge.

The shelf’s wooden hinge allows the beams to fold onto one another, shrinking the bookshelf down to its ladder frame, which could alternatively be used as a rack for hanging. However Fold Shelf is used, the thoughtful combination of minimal cabinetry work with an adaptive design gives Fold Shelf an air of modern sophistication, while not compromising its simple assembly.

Designers: Rasmus Palmgren and Hanna Höglund

Fold Shelf is outfitted with a wooden hinge system which gives it a foldable structure.

To use the shelf, the wooden beams connected to the shelf’s hinge need to be fixed apart.

In addition to the product’s foldable design, Fold Shelf features a cabinet and a pull-out drawer to double as bookends.

When fully opened, Fold Shelf is a minimal bookshelf with a Scandinavian design.

Top shelves made from wooden boards rest on top of the shelves’ hinges, locking into place with a peg-and-socket.

When disassembled, Fold Shelf shrinks down to nearly half its size.

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