We all arrange our things differently, and we have different criteria for what constitutes organized and tidy. Furniture makers, however, often have to design for a wider audience, so they have to compromise on features that will work for a general population. There are, of course, modular and customizable furniture that allow us to mix and match parts, but often within certain limitations. It would sound at first that a modular shelf would also have similar restrictions, but this rather quirky shelf is nothing like your typical wooden furniture. Just like its randomly-shaped shelves, Ledoux doesn’t stick to a fixed form and lets you be the one to decide how you want your room to look like, any day of the week.
Designers: Natalie Shook and Wes Rozen (Piscina)
All shelves have separate layers to hold objects. Some come with uniform distances between them, while others have seemingly random heights. Conventional shelves are enclosed in boxes, while there are some that are almost literally just a wooden skeleton. In almost all these cases, you have to make do with what you bought, and even modular shelves where you can add or remove parts could still be limited by size.
Piscina’s Ledoux breaks free from all those conventions and challenges the definition of a shelf. Yes, there are still “floors” where you can put stuff on, but each of those wooden doesn’t conform to the standard rectangular shape of shelves. Some are more circular; some are rectangular. Others defy definition in terms of your typical geometrical shapes. Best of all, you can put them at any height you wish and in any order, even if you have to leave out some of them.
At the literal center of this design is a wooden spine that definitely looks its part. The grooves in between each box of the column are the spaces where you can slot in any of those shelves. You can align them all in the middle, or you shift a few to the left or right. You can be as imaginative as you can be or as normal as you need to be. You don’t have to be locked into what you chose at first and rearrange everything on a whim. Presuming, of course, you’re willing to do the work of removing your stuff and putting them back again.
What’s even more interesting is that Ledoux can actually function as more than a shelf. Depending on the configuration, you can even use the lower part of the shelf as a desk with plenty of room above for important work materials and tools. It might not be as polished as a dedicated desk in terms of functionality, especially with the lack of drawers, but anyone owning this shelf is probably eccentric enough not to want a traditional desk anyway.
This kind of modular system is definitely interesting, even without the quirkiness of the shelves’ shapes. The freedom it affords by letting the owner decide exactly how shelves are set up can be liberating. Of course, it also gives them the freedom to stick to one style and never change the arrangement, but the furniture would still be an eye-catching fixture in any room, regardless.