Boston-based husband and wife team Mohamed Kamal and Reham Khalifa have launched an innovative sofa product on Kickstarter. Designed to change the way we buy and move sofas, the Elephant In A Box is a collapsible sofa that comes delivered in a compact box and, according to its creators, takes less than five minutes to assemble. Incorporating a honeycomb technology core, the sofa simply stretches out of the box and is secured into place before the cushions are placed on top.
"If you have ever lived in Boston or any of the big cities in the US, it's a common scene to see sofas lying on the curbside," Mohamed Kamal and Reham Khalifa tell New Atlas. "People moving out find it cheaper to leave their sofas on the curb rather than to bring it with them or dispose of it. Having witnessed, and lived, this experience, we realized there had to be a better way. This is when and where the idea of Elephant In a Box was born. We had already owned a business that uses honeycomb technology in a different application (not furniture). Being aware of the properties of this material and the ability of it to fold and retain its original shape, we realized it was the perfect solution to many of the sofa buying and selling problems."
Weighing just 99 lb (45 kg), the two-seater sofa zips into an easily transportable moving box measuring 27.4 x 38.6 x 18 in (70 x 98 x 46 cm). The box is small enough to be sent via the UPS postal system or fit a small car, and once fully assembled the sofa measures 87.4 x 38.4 x 36 in (222 x97.5 x 91.5 cm) (LxWxD). It comes in three different color and a square ottoman is available as an option.
"One of our main challenges was to make the sofa in its collapsible/foldable position so that it fit within UPS allowable dimensions," says Kamal and Khalifa. "One of our value propositions was to have the sofa UPS-able and we did. We were also looking to eliminate the use of tools or screws in the assembly and disassembly process, thus making set up and dismantling instantaneous. The sofa assembles and disassembles in less than five minutes. Another challenge was to fit the sofa and all its components into ONE and only ONE box and we did."
Adopting similar technology that is used in aerospace manufacturing, rocket substructures, jet aircraft, helicopters, and automobile structures, Elephant In A Box features a honeycomb core that has the ability to fold and retain its original shape, while also withstanding a high load-bearing capacity. Made using engineered cellulose fiber sheets, the light weight core comprises hexagonal shaped cells, allowing it to withstand 400 times its own weight. According to the couple's prototype test results, the sofa is capable of supporting an impressive 1,900 lb (862 kg).
"The honeycomb structure of the sofa is very durable and can last more than 10 years in normal living conditions," say Kamal and Khalifa. "We brought in US and German experts to assist us in the choice of fabric and carefully selected high quality polyurethane foam that offers the perfect blend between comfort and support. We put the prototype to the test in the MIT Martin Trust Center [and] feedback from users was incorporated in the development process to reach the final design."
Elephant In A Box is currently seeking financial support via the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter. Its expected retail price sits around US$890, however, early backers can get their hands on a sofa from US$499 with shipping slated for September 2019 if everything goes to plan. Shipping is available to the US, Canada, Germany, UK and France.
Check out the duo's pitch video below.
Source: Elephant In A Box
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