As If From Nowhere
by Orla Reynolds


As If From Nowhere by Orla Reynolds

Brightly coloured tables and chairs are hidden in plain sight between the shelves of this bookcase by graduate designer Orla Reynolds.

The white bookcase comprises independent units of two or four squares, each holding a chair or table in its sides.

As If From Nowhere by Orla Reynolds

They easily pull out from the bookcase when needed and the two purple tables can be placed together to form a larger dining table.

As If From Nowhere by Orla Reynolds

Former ballet dancer Reynolds, who has just graduated from the Dublin Institute of Technology in Ireland, wanted the movement from bookcase to dining table to reflect a scene change at the theatre.

As If From Nowhere by Orla Reynolds

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As If From Nowhere by Orla Reynolds

Here's more from Orla Reynolds:

As if from nowhere… is an independently functioning bookcase which houses four dining chairs and two tables that when placed together form a dining table. It is intended for small living spaces or for those who wish to cater to the unexpected guest.

I began my exploration by focusing on dance. I was a ballet dancer, having studied ballet from the age of four. I wanted to focus on the strength of a ballerina, the lightweight and lightsomeness of a ballerina, the beautiful streamlined silhouette they create.

As If From Nowhere by Orla Reynolds

Through initial research it seemed as if the pieces would become sculptural, rather than the multi-functional pieces I love to design.

I began to think about the theatre stage. I thought about how a production is brought together for the audience; how the audience becomes engaged. I then began to think about the home as a stage; and how our lives play out within these four walls. The walls appeared to be the most wasted space, especially in small living spaces such as apartment living. Through concept development, and model making, I created As if from nowhere…

As If From Nowhere by Orla Reynolds

As if from nowhere… is an independently functioning bookcase, that houses four dining chairs, and two tables, that when united create a dining table. The movement from bookcase to dining is like a scene change. It transforms the space like props on a stage. The dancers can be seen in the chairs and tables. These are made of such strong material that there is an expectation that they are heavy. But they are lightweight. They are streamlined creating an elegant silhouette.

As If From Nowhere by Orla Reynolds

I tried to sustain a vision. The bookcase is the nucleus of this production. It houses everything, awaiting the performance. The four chairs are like the four swans in Tchaikovsky’s, Swan Lake. The tables are the corps de ballet bringing the production together. Furthermore the bookcase works independently itself, dressing the home.

Chair: Mild steel and birch plywood.
Weight: 3kg

Table: Mild Steel and birch plywood.
Weight: 5kg

Bookcase: MDF

  • Paul

    I like this idea a lot. It's a nice and fresh version of space saving furniture, which is often boring and too technical in my opinion.

  • Well done!!! this is great!! great thinking!

  • Trevor

    very clever. I would love to see it in more muted colours, but the concept and exacution is great. Well done.

  • Greenish

    Brilliant design, well executed.

  • Nezzie

    What happens if the chair backs/legs get slightly warped with use? Are they solid structures?

  • Rajeev

    A great design in Bookshelves and in Chairs after a long long time. Kudos to you.

  • Chris

    How do I get this ensemble?????

  • The best ideas are always simple …and the ones you wish you'd thought of yourself. Well done

  • michael

    Smartboard by Giles Copp anyone??? Seen it all before:

  • James
  • Maurice

    Hardly. You're trying to go back to a debate about who invented the wheel or the box. This is an awesome piece of work. The unending potential…

  • John

    Not sure about this. It look quite large for something 'space saving'. Also I wonder how quickly you would tire of pulling your table and chairs in and out every time you wanted to sit down for a meal. Perhaps more design for design sake?

  • Kat

    Love this, where could one buy this?

  • Shawri

    Is this available for purchase? If so where? Or is it just a prototype?