MAGfurniture was developed by Benjamin Vermeulen as his final project when graduating from the Design Academy of Eindhoven. It has a sleek minimalistic appeal being made entirely of sheet steel and solid wood, and is designed to come as flat pack furniture. However it’s a far cry from Ikea penchant for melamine chipboard and 30 step instruction manuals; MAGfurniture simply slots together with magnets.
The MAG system in this magnetic furniture is portable to the point that you could remake it everyday without damaging it. In fact Benjamin Vermeulen developed it specifically to not lose its structural integrity when taken apart and put back together as no screws are involved.
Sure I managed to disassemble a lot of my Ikea furniture and reassemble it while moving house earlier this year but the process was arduous and the quality of the furniture diminished. Some of the screws didn’t bite into the wood as well as when originally assembled and I’m fairly sure that the furniture couldn’t be remade like this more than a couple of times.
At no point does MAGfurniture overcomplicate things. The chair for example comes in just four parts yet is still what would be considered flat packed and fits together quickly and securely. The table is simpler yet involving just four legs which magnetically slot over rods on the bottom of the table top. As for the MAGcabinet, well that looks a bit more complicated but it is still remarkably simple for a flat pack cupboard and has the added advantage of being modular and configurable in that they can be stacked into layers with different components.
The MAGchair and MAGtable look so intuitive in fact that they likely wouldn’t even need to come with instructions and could be assembled in around 30 seconds. There are no complicated fixtures or screws which also means there’s no need for additional tools. The assembly of Ikea furniture is admittedly part of the fun in my eyes but the MAGfurniture system will certainly be a breath of fresh air to those who find it complicated or tedious.[sc:fblikebox]
These magnetic slotting fixtures will undoubtedly be slightly more expensive than the cheap screws and clips that Ikea incorporate into their flat packed furniture but I definitely think it could be economically viable. I hope a production company pick up on the idea and work with Benjamin Vermeulen to develop it further.
Note that it isn’t strictly the magnets which hold MAGfurniture together, they merely guide the metal rods into their holes and hold them in place. MAG in this context actually stands for Magnetic Assisted Geometry which is a term that perfectly illustrates how the magnetic fixtures aren’t load bearing but instead encourage the furniture components to interlock and form strong bonds.
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