Form Maker

Renewable paper furniture and products

Form Maker is a Shanghai-based design studio that produces a wide range of unique furniture and products for the home from renewable paper materials. Founded in 2013 by Chinese-Australian interior designer Kira Pan, the studio makes designs that have a playful, often geometric, and eye-catching sense of form. Since Form Maker products are constructed from cardboard, they have a delightfully tactile and striking texture. Perhaps surprisingly, the lightweight furniture is also quite durable and sturdy.

Form Maker’s products typically range from small desktop stationary items to much larger pieces of furniture, such as tables and chairs. Each design is carefully crafted in their workshop, with the intent to bring joy and sustainable awareness to homes. Read our interview below with Form Maker’s Creative Director Kira Pan to find out more.

Neocha: What is the concept behind Form Maker?

Form Maker: People usually don’t put paper as their first choice when it comes to choosing furniture and homeware, but Form Maker would like to change all that. MDF, polyurethane, plastic are the more common materials that have always been used for furniture making, and they can do a lot of damage to our environment. The idea behind Form Maker is to use design as a language to convince people of alternative sustainable solutions when it comes to making a choice.

Neocha: Describe for us the process in making a Form Maker product.

Form Maker: Currently we are a small team and all designs are made in-house within a shared workshop space. The process usually involves colouring, cutting and hand making each piece with a lot of care. It is done with a dynamic mix of cutting-edge technology and traditional handcraft.

Neocha: What are your design inspirations?

Form Maker: I like to think about what we can create to bring our eco-friendly idea into every aspect of people’s home and workspace. The thought becomes a brief, waiting for a moment when something in life gives that spark of inspiration and lead to sketching and prototyping. We will make sure we road test all designs in our own homes. Functionality is just as important as the look. I want all our cardboard pieces to not only be creative and fun, but also useful and would last the distance.

Neocha: Why is sustainable design important, and how are Form Maker products sustainable?

Form Maker: As a designer we feel the obligation to practice sustainable design, because we need to be the ones pushing the boundaries and define the way future looks like. It is especially critical now as our planet is under serious threat.

Compared with a product of the same size made from plastic, one of our products emits nearly six times less CO2 per kilogram during the production process. We also use water-based adhesives with non-toxic ink to ensure safety for users and to minimize the impact on the environment. With our flat packed designs, carbon footprint during transit has also been reduced.

Neocha: Describe for us a couple of your favorite Form Maker designs. Why are they interesting?

Form Maker: My favorite right now is our latest collection of kids’ homeware, called Gobble. This is a very meaningful project and collaborative effort that we undertook with Kae Collective. Gobble is a collection of fun, eco-friendly, animal inspired furniture. We designed Gobble with the aim to teach kids the habits of sustainable living through daily interaction and play.

Neocha: How would you define good design?

Form Maker: To put things very simply, I believe good design should be inspired by life and created for life. With these two intent fulfilled, the design can then have the true potential to become part of someone’s life and bring them joy.

Neocha: What are the future plans for Form Maker?

Form Maker: Form Maker will be stepping into the interior realm by creating more experiential and educational spaces for people to look, feel, interact and most importantly to live in. Then we will truly see how Form Maker’s ideas can combine with daily living.

Instagram: @formmaker

Contributor: Leon Yan
rapher: Mandy Cai

Originally published at on October 17, 2015.