Last edited 12 Oct 2020

Flat pack


[edit] Introduction

Flat pack is a term typically associated with furniture. Flat pack furniture is also known as ready-to-assemble (RTA) furniture, knock down (KD) furniture or kit furniture.

This method of production can be used for items such as shelves, bookcases, tables, cupboards and so on. These items of furniture are mass produced as individual components. They are packaged so they can be purchased, transported and assembled by the customer at their final destination. Basic hardware and instructions are generally included.

[edit] History

Early flat pack furniture goes back to the mid-1800s with the introduction of the bentwood bistro chair. This chair was invented by Michael Thonet, a cabinet maker born in Germany.

The flat pack concept was advanced during the First World War by an American company known as Home Art Masters, but it was not successful. Experiments with flat pack furniture continued in the 1940s and 1950s, but it didn’t gain wide acceptance until the Scandinavian company, IKEA introduced a range of flat pack furniture in 1956.

[edit] Beyond furniture

On a larger scale, the flat pack method of production can also be applied to other forms of manufacturing, such as modular buildings. These are structures made from components manufactured on assembly lines in factories then assembled on site.

IKEA has made inroads into the development of modular construction, such as hotels and housing. This has sometimes been labelled by the press as 'flat pack homes'.

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