Published on : Thursday, April 5, 2018
Benjamin Hubert’s design agency LAYER launched SHIFT, a flexible retail shelf system for leading design textile manufacturer Kvadrat. The system was launched at Kvadrat’s Milan showroom in April 2018 as part of Salone del Mobile, the world’s leading design event.
SHIFT is Benjamin Hubert’s and LAYER’s first collaboration with Danish company Kvadrat, and the project is the result of ten prototypes over a period of six months.
The power of transformation
Called SHIFT in reference to its ability to easily transform from a flat acoustic wall panel to a shelf used for display and storage, the flexible system has been designed to maximise space and display areas in response to the constantly changing needs of retail environments. SHIFT seamlessly adapts to different situations, from high-demand sales periods, during which storage and display areas needs to be prioritised, to launches and openings, when floor space and acoustics need to be maximised for entertaining.
SHIFT is made from Kvadrat’s Really Solid Textile Board, a material created from upcycled end-of-life textiles from the fashion and textile industries. Really both responds to the urgent global issue of waste and challenges the design and architecture industries to rethink their use of resources. This approach complements LAYER’s commitment to sustainability, which informs all work in the studio.
In the same way that Really is based around a changed state – from recycled textile to solid material – SHIFT also celebrates the power of transformation, in this case, from shelf to acoustic wall panel and back again.
SHIFT uses no screws or bolts in its construction. Instead, intelligently machined kerf grooves bring the Really Solid Textile Board back to a flexible state, similar to its original textile form. The kerfs cut into the shelf to create a mechanism allow shift to unfurl, like a soft, flowing textile. Mitre kerfs in the shelf supports allow for the brackets to seamlessly swing out beneath the shelf to offer support for the horizontal surface. When folded against the wall, SHIFT acts as an acoustic wall panel and is held closed via a series of magnets. This refined solution for the mechanism is the result of ten prototypes over six months.
SHIFT is available in four colours – blue (from recycled denim), white (from recycled hospital bed sheets), yellow, and grey. A series of 13 shelves in various configurations and sizes will be shown in Milan.
Benjamin Hubert says, “At LAYER we are really focused on sustainability and for us that means the materiality must be responsible, the functionality be flexible and the aesthetic be timeless. Shift represents all three; a simple adaptable shelf with an economy of construction using a super recyled material.”