The concept is thus… Filson and Rohrbacher have produced a range of furniture designed to be cut from sheets of material (aluminium, wood, plastic, glass…). The difference between them and that Swedish shop is that all they will sell you are the designs… you then take them to your nearest CNC router workshop and they do the cutting out – leaving you to do the assembly.
AtFAB, as the business is called, call this process ‘distributed fabrication’, and effectively it also distributes manufacturing money to thousands of local workshops and away from the big factories such as those that Swedish shop uses.
They have made their designs available online for free under a Creative Commons license, so that anyone can download them, make their own furniture from the designs, and then effectively test the designs out and make tweaks, reccomendations, and customised versions – crowdsourced R&D, if you like.
It’s a clever twist on one of the oldest crafts, and I for one am downloading my new armchair right now. Now just to select the plywood…