Minimal chair ships flat, takes seconds to assemble with no tools
January 8, 2019 | 11:26 am CST
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A new "minimal chair" can be shipped in a thin flat box and takes just seconds to assemble without tools, according to a Purdue University researcher.
Creator of the chair Tong Kim, an industrial design professor at the school, says the chair is part of an effort to transform lean manufacturing with 'smart' furniture and waste and cost reduction.
Kim, an innovator with several patents, says his chair has foldable hinges and is made from wood, thin and light metal, and leather materials. It ships in a flat package to reduce shipping costs by more than 50 percent. 
“We want to take giant leaps in sustainable manufacturing,” Kim said. “This chair represents only one small piece of our overall goal to streamline lean manufacturing and reduce energy waste.”   


Chair assembled in one minute with Lockdowel system

Lockdowel said it has introduced a new approach to simple, fast chair assembly, the Lockdowel Slide-to-Lock Chair fastener system. 

The chair could be modified for different sizes, dimensions, and weight bearing, depending on the need of a manufacturer.

An innovator with several patents, Kim also created the “Sharing Chair,” a stackable style of furniture that can be used by up to three people at the same time. He also founded Wonder Maker Space, a product development and commercialization platform with users in multiple countries to collaborate on product development and manufacturing.
“I continue working on processes for smart manufacturing, including an Internet of Things-based system to transfer digital data such as 3D CAD and specifications between manufacturing locations so items can be produced locally and save time, costs and reduce waste,” Kim said.
To find out more about Kim’s minimal chair or his other inventions, contact

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Robert Dalheim

Robert Dalheim is an editor at the Woodworking Network. Along with publishing online news articles, he writes feature stories for the FDMC print publication. He can be reached at