Great product design student work: the stair locker, for stair storage

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Something I saw a lot in New York was people using stairs for storage. Landlords and firefighters don’t care about the convenience, but especially if you lived on the top floor of a walk-up, that top stairway became a de facto free extra closet.

NYC is not alone in this practice. Bronwen Rees and Bryony Wood, both product design students at Nottingham Trent University in the UK, seized on the stairs as fertile storage territory for a class assignment for Umbra. The brief was to design storage furniture “aimed at young working people living in small rental houses”. Students were asked to “consider Umbra’s mass manufacturing, packaging and styling”.

Rees and Wood then designed this Stair Cubby:

“An open access locker that fits up two steps for everyday storage. It can hold up to five pairs of shoes, books or other [knick-knacks] and is delivered flat.”

The duo designed the unit, which comes flat-packed, to be assembled without tools. Tabs, slots and dowels are all cut from the same piece of plywood. An adjustable back panel slides up and down to accommodate stairs of different sizes. Considering manufacturing, the unit is designed so that all of its parts are cut from 1/3 sheet of 4×8 plywood with minimal waste, so one sheet is three units.

Rees and Wood also simulated packaging…

…as well as experimenting with the Umbra colors used by retailer John Lewis & Partners:

In the end, the pair “decided wood worked best with plain white.”

Nice work, Rees and Wood!



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