Space-saving possibilities

Witness this marvelous gallery of ingenious objects that unroll, unfold, and unstack in order to save space or become more portable. The examples range from the obvious unfolding umbrellas and strollers, to non-obvious unfolding cameras, bicycles, and ladders. As we become (or return to) more nomadic beings, collapsible products are ever more desirable. Almost anything could be designed to collapse. This collection is an inspiring catalog of what is possible.

-- KK 06/15/12


Stockholm folds out for inspection on this map handed out free by the city's cabdrivers. Produced by CR Grafiska.

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The Polaroid SX-70 from 1972 includes a number of improvements on the original 1948 model. Among these is the space-saving SLR (single lens reflex) and the power source included in the film pack. Dr. H. Hand was the inventor, with Henry Dreyfuss Associates acting as design consultants.

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The first Brompton Bicycle was designed in 1975 by landscape gardener Andrew Ritchie, in his bedroom overlooking London's Brompton Oratory.

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The Columbus foldaway staircase by Trip-Trap, Denmark.

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The GF chair designed by David Rowland in 1964 is the world chap ion of stack ability. Forty chairs form a tower of just 120 cm (3 ft 11 in). The seat and back of vinyl-covered steel offer a reasonable measure of comfort. Manufactured by GF Office Furniture, USA.

Battista, a length-adjustable, concertina-collapsible table designed by Antonio Citterio and Oliver Low. Manufactured by Kartell, Italy.

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