One of my favorite industrial designed artifacts is IKEA’s EXPEDIT (a new model is called KALLAX) shelf. Blauvelt wrote in his article, “multifunctionality has long been a characteristic of furniture design, particularly in circumstances where space is at a premium”. I had an IKEA’s 4 by 4 EXPEDIT shelf in my small studio when I lived in DC. I loved its simplicity and versatility: it was composed of 16 square shelves that were suitable for storing and organizing anything: it was a room divider, a book shelf, a clutter organizer, and a shoe rack. The multifunction of the shelf allowed me to maximize the utility of my space, and the simple and clean design also added style to my tiny room.
It is also worth mentioning that the shelf units come in different sizes, making it adaptable to different room sizes and layouts if the owner moves to a new apartment (sadly I sold mine as I moved to California). Users can also purchase inserted drawers or doors to add to the shelf to make it even more customized.
The simple design of the EXPEDIT shelf opens up a lot of possible utilities for the users to figure out. Just as Blauvelt said, the design “allows for some sort of uncertainty to take place in terms of the final product by centralizing the user as an active and creative participant.” The creativity is handed over to the user’s hands, making me think about my living space differently.