Star-shaped clothes horse
by Aaron Dunkerton


Graduate designer Aaron Dunkerton has developed an expandable clothing airer that unfolds into a star shape to create more space for hanging wet garments (+ slideshow).

Star-shaped clothes horse by Aaron Dunkerton

Aaron Dunkerton's Clothes Horse has 36 arms, 10 more than a conventional airer, and when in use it takes the form of a 12-pointed star.

Star-shaped clothes horse by Aaron Dunkerton

"The shape of my clothes horse when erect allows for good air circulation around the clothes, which will help them to dry faster," said the designer.

Star-shaped clothes horse by Aaron Dunkerton

The piece is made from narrow strips of beach plywood, connected by brushed aluminium rods. Small openings create hooks that allow the structure to be locked into position, or collapsed when not it use.

Star-shaped clothes horse by Aaron Dunkerton

"When it's collapsed it is a lot smaller than conventional airers, but when expanded it has more drying arms, as well as having a more interesting form," Dunkerton told Dezeen.

Star-shaped clothes horse by Aaron Dunkerton

Dunkerton designed the Clothes Horse as part of a product and furniture design degree at Kingston University. His other projects include a cavity brick fitting that allows endangered birds to nest in new buildings and garden walls.

Star-shaped clothes horse by Aaron Dunkerton

Here's a project description from the designer:

Clothes Horse

The dimensions of my clothes horse are 56cm long, 32 wide and 23cm high when it is collapsed so it is much easier to store than a conventional clothes airer which are normally awkward sizes and hard to hide when not in use. When in use its dimensions are 56cm deep, 112cm wide and 112cm tall. The shape of my clothes horse when erect allows for good air circulation around the clothes, which will help them to dry faster.

The design comprises a locking arm which keeps the clothes horse in it collapsed form so that when it is being moved and stored between uses it is easier to carry.

Star-shaped clothes horse by Aaron Dunkerton

Whilst my design does have a bigger footprint when it is being used, it is much more interesting to look at than normal airers.

It has 36 drying arms which is around 10 more than normal airers. It is made from brushed aluminium rod and beach plywood. The wood is cut using a CNC router. The aluminium rod is threaded at the end and then fastened with domed nuts and washers.

  • Sam

    An improvement on both function and aesthetic! Awesome work Aaron!

  • Evie Reiko

    Any idea when the clothes horse may be available for purchase and the estimated cost?

  • Daniel Simpson

    That’s a brilliant design! How can I get one?

    • metis

      Try an antique store in the rural plains states of the USA.

  • It’s aesthetically pleasing, stylish and has 10 more drying arms than a normal dryer. What a great design. Well done.

  • metis

    Developed huh? I repaired one of those five months ago that was someone’s family heirloom. The only development there is using metal rods instead of the original nail pinned dowels.

    It’s an obscure design and while it’s entirely possible that he came up with it on his own, a nearly exact replication is not as likely.

    (It was such an unique and design I took a few pictures intending to make one myself. Let me see if I can dig them up.)

    • metis

      I sent the snapshot along to the author that I took so I could reproduce the antique for myself. Not great picture quality, but very clearly the same thing.

      My best guess is that the original manufacturer had an inspired variant use of one of the taller traditional vertical expanding collapsible racks of typical amish drying racks. It’s an almost identical critter, just with more sets of legs and a different catch setup. (I tried to set it up as the vertical type when the woman brought it in, but she corrected me.)

      • Alan

        I think this guy is from the UK, I doubt that he is going to fly over to the US and steel an Amish family’s dryer design?

        Nice work Aaron!

        • metis


          No one has ever traveled between the US and the UK before. EVER. It’s impossible. There is not an amazing way to send and share images or ideas across thousands of miles. That would be cool, because it could allow me to look at an aggregation of great design ideas from all over the world on my computer, or even search millions of images in the blink of an eye.

          Sarcasm aside, as I said, it’s entirely possible that he came up with it on his own, but using exactly the same geometry for the same function makes it pretty suspicious. Particularly because the original is so rare, the odds of coming across it are slim, but it’s pretty damned cool, so tempting to reinvent/reintroduce. As I mentioned, I took a picture so I could remember the construction to reproduce it myself.

          I often peruse old catalogues and books for design ideas, and have gotten a few “oh wow that’s a cool fresh new thing” sort of comments on projects. I then explain that it’s just something old reinvented or reused. We all build design on the shoulders of design that has inspired us. Reiterating those designs is not the same.

    • Madox

      Hi, is it possible for you to email me the pics of the “original”? Madox at Madox dot Net

    • Willy

      Yes, this is a very old design. My mother had one of the wooden clothes racks 60 years ago and it is still in use now. I have photos of two similar racks from the internet. Nice try at a more modern version.

  • LoriDesign

    Pretty functional design. It won’t work in my small apartment.

  • Mark

    Great product, where can I get one?

  • Nathan

    This requires a shutupandtakemymoney.gif

  • MOi

    Wonderful! When may it be available and what will cost?

  • Guillem

    I wonder if it is stable under an asymmetrical load. The floor supports do not have a lot of distance between them.

    • I’m guessing it’d just roll over until it found equilibrium? Actually now I think about it, it’d be pretty humorous as some materials dry at different rates and the clothes horse rolls later on as it becomes unbalanced.

  • Valerie Cousens

    Please inform when on the market, I would like one. I have been looking for a decent dryer for ages. Thank you.

  • Doris

    Where can we buy this?

  • Pat Blake

    Where can I buy this clothes horse?