The Cardboard Café

Cardboard cafePhoto:

Remember when, as a child, you’d get presents on birthdays or at Christmas and often preferred to play with the box they came in more than the toy? Yeah, most people can probably relate to that, but the interior architects who brought us chic bar Babel in London, B3 Designers, obviously learnt more from their days mucking around in cardboard boxes than others – for this year’s London Design Festival they have converted their east end studio into a Cardboard Café using a total of 8,000 cardboard boxes.

Tucked away in a typical narrow London mews street, the creative design looks incredibly cool and demonstrates just what you can do with a bit of card and sticky tape. But it didn’t win everybody over; Brit, from design website Core77 visited the kooky café and was less than impressed:

“One would have expected to be treated in a slightly more hospitable manner and at least be offered a coffee. But that seemed to be reserved only for the staff of the studio.

Cardboard CafePhoto:

Therefore, this great structure suffered a bit from the quite unwelcoming atmosphere and snottiness of the people involved – which probably reflects the current attitude problem of so much interior design: it all looks great but often doesn’t quite feel right due to being too cool & arrogant to engage with people.”

Ooops. And what’s worse (and almost completely unforgiveable) is that they intend to dump all 8,000 cardboard boxes once Design Week is over!

UPDATE: September 23, 2008

Don’t Panic! All cardboard boxes have been saved from certain death.

We have it on good authority that the cardboard will in fact be recycled, and was always meant to be. B3 Designers have got in touch and said:

“The left over boxes we donated to Goldsmiths students who were building an installation in a 24-hour Design and Make in Deptford. Someone unfortunately drove through our arches, destroying them, and these boxes we have recycled. We have had some people interested in exhibiting the installation at other venues, but if this does not work out then the rest will all also be recycled. When thinking about the materials we could use for our café, recyclability was one of the major factors in the deciding process, as we are all too aware of the current environmental concerns.

I would also like to let you know that the staff working at the cafe were not members of the studio, but people hired for the duration of the pop up café and so should not be felt to project our attitude. I find it a shame they portrayed an impression of arrogance as we are a young, unpretentious studio and are very much the opposite of that. Our Cardboard Café should have been an example of this.”

Source Core 77