Benjamin Hubert's design studio Layer has teamed up with Kvadrat's recycled textile brand Really to create a flexible shelving system that doubles as an acoustic wall panel, which will launch during this year's Milan design week.
The Shift shelving system was designed in response to the constantly changing needs of retail environments. It is made from Kvadrat and Really's Solid Textile Board – a material created from upcycled end-of-life textiles from the fashion and textile industries.
When not being used as a shelf for display and storage purposes, Shift functions as an acoustic panel that is held closed by a series of magnets.
The panel's flexible textile shelves are folded out and fixed in place without the use of screws or bolts.
Grooves in material allow the panels to bend upwards and out from the wall to form horizontal shelf surfaces. Folding brackets hidden beneath the panel then swing out to support the shelf.
Layer claims that, although a simple mechanism, it took ten prototypes over six months to perfect.
"Shift seamlessly adapts to different situations, from high- demand sales periods, during which storage and display areas needs to be prioritised, to launches and openings, when floor space and acoustics need to be maximised for entertaining," said Hubert.
Shift marks Layer's first collaboration with the Danish brand, which was acquired by Kvadrat in 2017. The London-based studio is among six others designers working with Kvadrat's Really material, with all seven projects launching during Milan Design Week this April.
"Really both responds to the urgent global issue of waste and challenges the design and architecture industries to rethink their use of resources," said Hubert. "This approach complements Layer's commitment to sustainability, which informs all work in the studio."
"In the same way that Really is based around a changed state – from recycled textile to solid material – Shift also celebrates the power of transformation, in this case, from shelf to acoustic wall panel and back again," he continued.
Layer's Shift shelving system will be on show at an exhibition on Via Palermo during Milan design week, alongside designs by Christien Meindertsma, Claesson Koivisto Rune, Front, Jo Nagasaka, Jonathan Olivares and Raw Edges.
Also set to take place at the festival is the annual Norwegian Presence exhibition, which will present a range of new products, sculptural craftwork and iconic designs exploring "the making of modern Norway."