I'd seen Rotterdam artist Daan Roosegaarde's Variants series of space-creating bookcases a few months ago, and then I lost my reference for it until just now. They're several kinds of awesome all at once.
Variants are functional sculptures that serve as "reading cocoons" and bookcases. The first ones were made as a art school class project, but Dutch library officials started commissioning them almost immediately, and Roosegaarde put them into production.
Each system is unique, the form generated as a variant [get it?] of a specialized Topsolid CAD/CAM model, then CNC-milled out of laminated and topcoated honeycomb cardboard [recycled, of course]. The pieces are then assembled by hand. The result is both strong, durable, and extremely lightweight.
Some turn out like little workstations, others like totally intimate, cave-like rooms which would be perfect for holing up and reading or coloring or something. In an email, Roosegaarde explained that with some pictures and consultation, custom Variants can be created to suit your space in about six weeks.
They run about 3500 euros, and would cost around 500 euros to ship to the US. So light, and yet so expensive to ship, I asked. Couldn't you pack it flat and ship it for less? "Yes, dads can put it together themselves," the sculptor explained, "but we prefer to ship the object as a complete package."
And I prefer to live in a house with doorways large enough to take delivery of an 10x10x10-foot crate, but I admit, I don't. Better look into some kind of modular workaround before putting that bad boy in my shopping cart. OR...couldn't he 'print' them remotely on the CNC router down the street from me and let me puzzle it together on my own clock? Whatever the savings on shipping, I'm sure I'd be happy to spend it on a good set of assembly instructions... Just some late night thinking here.
See more images below.