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Stratflex Collection adds curves to flat pack furniture

Skin as seen from the side, showing how the Stratflex technology creates natural curves
Skin as seen from the side, showing how the Stratflex technology creates natural curves
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Skin is a flat pack armchair that still has curves thanks to Stratflex technology
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Skin is a flat pack armchair that still has curves thanks to Stratflex technology
Skin is a flat pack armchair that still has curves thanks to Stratflex technology
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Skin is a flat pack armchair that still has curves thanks to Stratflex technology
Skin is a flat pack armchair that still has curves thanks to Stratflex technology
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Skin is a flat pack armchair that still has curves thanks to Stratflex technology
Skin is a flat pack armchair that still has curves thanks to Stratflex technology
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Skin is a flat pack armchair that still has curves thanks to Stratflex technology
Impi is a simple all-purpose chair that incorporates the Stratflex technology
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Impi is a simple all-purpose chair that incorporates the Stratflex technology
Skin as seen from the side, showing how the Stratflex technology creates natural curves
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Skin as seen from the side, showing how the Stratflex technology creates natural curves
The Saligna frame that the polymer-augmented plywood of Skin fits in and around
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The Saligna frame that the polymer-augmented plywood of Skin fits in and around
The plywood is scored and the gaps filled with flexible polymer, meaning the wood can be bent and shaped as needed
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The plywood is scored and the gaps filled with flexible polymer, meaning the wood can be bent and shaped as needed
The plywood is scored and the gaps filled with flexible polymer, meaning the wood can be bent and shaped as needed
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The plywood is scored and the gaps filled with flexible polymer, meaning the wood can be bent and shaped as needed
The plywood is scored and the gaps filled with flexible polymer, meaning the wood can be bent and shaped as needed
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The plywood is scored and the gaps filled with flexible polymer, meaning the wood can be bent and shaped as needed

Whatever you personally think of flat pack furniture, it appeals to many people. Thanks to a combination of availability and affordability, it's become insanely popular for those who don't want to spend a fortune on unique pieces for their home. It's these unique pieces we tend to cover here at Gizmag, and the Stratflex Collection from Wintec Innovation offers a form of flat pack furniture that is anything but banal.

Wintec Innovation is a family-run South African company that lists "sustainable, functional, cost-effective and aesthetic" as the four tenets of the products it seeks to create. The Stratflex Collection appears at first glance to tick all those boxes. There are just two products in the Stratflex range at the time of writing, with Skin being the name of an armchair (with single, 2-seat, and 3-seat options), and Impi being the name of a simple all-purpose chair.

Impi is made from imported Finnish plywood. The Skin has a frame made from Saligna, a hardwood indigenous to South Africa, while the flexible elements are again made from plywood. As plywood isn't known for its innate flexibility, this is where Stratflex comes into the equation.

The plywood is scored and the gaps filled with flexible polymer, meaning the wood can be bent and shaped as needed
The plywood is scored and the gaps filled with flexible polymer, meaning the wood can be bent and shaped as needed

Stratflex is a patented technology that sees a flexible polymer injected into ridges scored in the plywood. This polymer allows the wood to bend and flex as needed, allowing it to be shipped flat and then shaped across and around the frame when in situ. The result is a finished product that looks modern and stylish, and the company claims the Stratflex layer easily conforms to the particular needs of each individual user, aiding comfort.

The company won the Innovation Award for the Stratflex technology at the 2013 Design Indaba Expo. The price of Skin starts at 8000 ZAR (US$860), with Impi starting at 1700 ZAR ($180).

Source: Wintec Innovation via Cool Hunting

3 comments
Arahant
Hmm, interesting idea, i like it but i wouldnt use it myself. Kinda seems like 860$ for something like this is kinda expensive, i could buy a brand new sofa for that much money. This is thin and somewhat flimsy(even if its rigid structuraly) and being made out of plywood i cant see it costing more then 100-150$ in materials. Also being made in africa you would think it would be cheaper as labour is likely cheaper. Im not to happy with things that are cheap to make but have to huge mark ups due to it seeming to be hip or filling a niche within a market, especialy markets that are suppose to be eco-friendly or money saving. Despite that i think it looks half decent and would be a good product for the right person.
Mark A
Nice aesthetics, great design, but my spine prefers something soft and cushy.
shane bob
I am a South African and I have been in the factory and spent some time working there. If only you knew how much money goes into manufacturing one of the impies. Also a CNC machine is used, the amount of money one pays for a CNC machine? and you might think labour is cheap because of it being in south AFRICA, but you're incorrect sir :)
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