Benjamin Hubert’s London design agency LAYER will be launching a flexible, retail shelf system for Danish textile manufacturer Kvadrat. The system called “SHIFT” is LAYER’s first collaboration with Kvadrat and the result of ten prototypes over a period of six months. The shelving is made from Kvadrat’s Really Solid Textile Board, a material made of upcycled end-of-life textiles from the fashion and textile industries. This material both responds to the global issue of waste, and it challenges the design and architecture industries to rethink their use of resources.
The name “SHIFT” references the product’s ability to easily transform from a flat acoustic wall panel to a shelf used for display and storage. Designed to maximize space and display areas in retail environments, the system allows the retailer to readily adapt to different situations, from high-demand sales periods, during which storage and display areas needs to be prioritized, to launches and openings, when floor space and acoustics need are most needed for entertaining.
In the same way that Really is based around a changed state—from recycled textile to solid material—SHIFT also transforms, in this case, from shelf to acoustic wall panel and back again. It uses no screws or bolts in its construction. Instead, 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, which allow it 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.
The new product will be launched at Kvadrat’s Milan showroom in April as part of Salone del Mobile design event.