Knock-Down/Drag-Out Table, 2003

Christopher Douglas

Location: Portland, Oregon
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Users often become designers. Who else is a better judge of whether something functions optimally than the person who has intimate knowledge of its workings? Christopher Douglas is a self-taught designer whose former career in advertising and nomadic lifestyle contributed to his clever Knock- Down/Drag-Out (KDDO) line of collapsible furniture.

KDDO was conceived out of necessity, as Douglas moved from one cramped apartment to another and recognized the need for furniture that was easily stowable yet improved upon the plain-Jane card table and folding chair. The line includes a dining table, bench, Autopilot Station (i.e., desk), chair, end table, bed, Flipper Screen, and coffee table—enough to furnish (and dismantle) an entire apartment in under thirty minutes. Made out of three-quarter-inch-thick Europly, which has a sustainably harvested wood core and is available in an assortment of stains, most of the furniture is assembled by simply slotting the pieces together and locking them in place with hidden fasteners. The Flipper Screen has fasteners as well as heavy-duty magnets on the edge of the disks and inside the rim so that they maintain a closed position. The screen is also available in vertically laminated bamboo ply, another sustainable building material.

Douglas has taken inspiration from mid-century artists and designers like Isamu Noguchi, Charles and Ray Eames, Alvar Aalto, and Jean Prouvé, who offered eloquent and economical solutions to seating, dining, and comfortable living. Simple materials, fluid forms, and clean lines characterize Douglas’s work, and KDDO fulfills a niche in a market flooded with ideas and creative thinkers. One can only imagine the prefab suburb of the future—one that is filled with Knock-Down/ Drag-Out furniture inside Charlie Lazor’s Flat-Pak House.