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Room in a Box
February 13, 2008 3:10 PM   Subscribe

Moving houses but don't want to buy bulky furniture? Get a Casulo.
posted by divabat (13 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
But where do you store all the crap that goes on the shelves?
posted by bjork24 at 3:20 PM on February 13, 2008


But how useful is the Euro pallet footprint? Do they expect (students?) people to move house by getting their belongings shipped by commercial freight?

It seems like a gimmick looking for a market to me. Nice concept, but anyone with that little amount of stuff (that the furniture would contain) would be throwing all their crap in a car, surely?

Unless this is some sort of cost effective, third world/university thing for low cost housing alternatives? I really can't see anyone transporting this stuff repeatedly as it seems to imply. Cool, but.. you know. Who and why?
posted by Brockles at 3:23 PM on February 13, 2008


Neat idea, but MAN ALIVE does that bed look uncomfortable.
posted by jtron at 3:28 PM on February 13, 2008


Who and why?

It would be handy for international aid or foreign service workers who need to pick up and go to the third world.
posted by tkchrist at 3:31 PM on February 13, 2008


It would be handy for international aid or foreign service workers who need to pick up and go to the third world.

Because if there is one thing the third world is short of, it is uncomfortable furniture, right?

I love it as a conceptual idea, but I don't think it has a lot of real-world use. When I was moving a lot, it was my stuff that took up too much space -- all my books, clothes, records, etc -- not my crappy furniture which mostly I left behind each time I moved. To make this work for the lifestyle I lived as a student, the cost would have to be cheaper than garage sale furniture, with which one can furnish a room for maybe $25 dollars. Even low-end Ikea stuff becomes disposable if you are staying somewhere for at least a year or two, cheaper to buy new than to ship it.

But rarely have I seen snazzy modern design + modular construction = cheap, so my guess is that the pallet-room will be quite pricey.

Too bad, because it is cute, and if cheap enough I would love to keep the pallet in the basement to be able to turn a spare room into guest accommodations on short notice.
posted by Forktine at 3:50 PM on February 13, 2008


Because if there is one thing the third world is short of, it is uncomfortable furniture, right?

What it can be short of is reliable infrastructure. Especially if your, say, helping in post Tsunami Thailand or post Katrina new Orleans wher there may be quonset huts or at best a mildewed gutted hotel that doesn't have any furniture.
posted by tkchrist at 3:55 PM on February 13, 2008


...but reliable freight shipping? (Not snarking here, asking. I'm not familiar with what you can and can't get in a disaster area.)
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:25 PM on February 13, 2008


Eh, I'd just buy some new crap at IKEA.
posted by hjo3 at 7:08 PM on February 13, 2008


Forktine: "it was my stuff that took up too much space"

Perhaps you need to limit the amount of stuff you have if it's taking up so much space. This architectural furniture could be the perfect starting point.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 7:41 PM on February 13, 2008


I'm still waiting on those Dragon Ball capsules where you can stuff half the planet inside.
posted by Xere at 8:07 PM on February 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


Perhaps you need to limit the amount of stuff you have if it's taking up so much space.

I've almost always owned less stuff than most of my peers -- for example, I'm sure I own fewer clothes and fewer appliances than most people I work with. (Compared to those of a poor person in a developing country, of course, my possessions are voluminous and excessive.) My point, which perhaps I was making clumsily, was that this neat bedroom-in-a-box (no matter how elegantly it fits onto a pallet) would have been adding stuff for me -- not simplifying, not reducing, not making things easier -- at that point in my life. I move my clothes with me; I don't move easily-replaced furniture.

Now that I am not moving all the time, a set-up like that would make a great conversation piece, and I would love to own it.

As someone who has done the kind of post-disaster work that tkchrist refers to, I honestly don't see a big role for this kind of pre-fab furniture in those settings. Usually (but with exceptions) relief and development workers are not going into places with zero infrastructure -- even after hurricanes, civil wars, and other crises, there are almost always functioning hotels, villas and houses to rent, and institutional buildings like schools, convents, and so on that can be used. More rarely, workers are based out of tents or other transitory dwellings for a time, but that is a seriously short-term set up in most situations. (The military is the big exception to this, but they have a lot of discipline and infrastructure that civilian development agencies don't have. And they use things like aircraft carriers and hospital ships as backstops to their tent barracks.)

So I think that this is a really neat concept, I would love to own it as a fun and pretty luxury, but I genuinely don't see a big practical use for it unless the price is really low -- like competing with Ikea's cheapest products level of cheap, and my guess is that it will not be that cheap.

Especially if your, say, helping in post Tsunami Thailand or post Katrina new Orleans wher there may be quonset huts or at best a mildewed gutted hotel that doesn't have any furniture.

Almost all reputable development agencies now make every attempt to source as much as possible in the local area rather than buy foreign. It makes much better sense from a redevelopment point of view to buy beds from the local carpenters or even from the local guy who imports from China than it does to bring in (probably bypassing local customs levies) snazzy prefab furniture from Germany; mostly you see this debate around questions of whether to buy local or imported food and building materials (because those items receive a lot more resources than do furniture for the small number of expat relief workers.
posted by Forktine at 8:19 PM on February 13, 2008


That was exactly what I thought, Forktine -- where do the books that I'd have on the shelves or the clothes that I'd put in the armoire go?

I'd still have to ship/carry or what have you that stuff, but I can keep the clothes in cardboard boxes and sleep in a sleeping bag for a while if need be.
posted by jrochest at 8:26 PM on February 13, 2008


You know, when I saw the words "moving houses" I thought I was going to be reading something about a company that did this.
posted by Robert Angelo at 5:43 PM on February 15, 2008


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