Thinking around the box – modular infrastructures

icealex are coming along in leaps and bounds, already having built a string community, and securing space with MIA (a robotics community) and Alexandria Hackerspace.

As we are looking at how we can support the development of additional ice spaces, I was delighted when they invited me to do a furniture workshop in their new space.

Taking the modular box system design from icecairo (see below), we prototyped a box design from recycled wood from old pallets (readily available in Alexandria) to create a new modular system for the Alex space.

The “Remix” took what we had learned from the icecairo design, and adapted it to an easy workshop format that allowed icealex to build their own robust system for storage, tables, chairs, stools, sofa’s etc.

Based on the dimensions of pallets, and the wood that can be reused from them, ensures that materials are reused intelligently, and material is available wherever the global logistics ecosystem ships.

The design brief was as follows.



System works like lego to allow for boxes to be split to smaller components for additional functionality. Can also be combined to make wider boxes.

From this simple design, combined with a pallet top, or table surface (maybe white boards). Numerous combinations of use arise.

For those who were feeling creative, we provided the opportunity to create additional designs outside of the box format. – This Rocking sofa, also doubles as a low table when combined with a

couple of boxes.

Thinking around the box, provides a creative constraint for further innovation – display,lighting, modular whiteboards, storage, with simple modifications. This is inspired from the work of Le Van Bo’s Berliner Hocker, and Luis Theron’s Turtle project.