A Standing Desk That Folds Up, So You Can Take It Anywhere And Even Work Outside

In the dizzying market for standing desks, the designers of the Refold say that sometimes a cardboard desk is more than a desk: It’s actually a “lifestyle choice.”

In case you hadn’t heard, sitting all day is bad for you. Some experts compare chairs with cigarettes for their impact on our health. Standing, by contrast, keeps the blood moving, opens up the body, and maintains your figure. That’s why standing desks make people healthier, several studies show.


But which standing desk should you get? There are certainly plenty of options these days, from cheap portable desks that sit on conventional tables, to hyper-adjustable mechanical desks that whizz up and down. They can cost from $40 to several thousand.

Into this crowded field comes another idea: a cardboard standing desk that flat-packs for easy carrying. It’s called the Refold and was developed in New Zealand. See the Kickstarter video here:

Probably because there are so many other standing desks available now, the Refold team claims their product is “more than a desk.” It’s a lifestyle choice, they say, that lets you move between places, and even work outside if you fancy it.

“The portability facilitates a modern workflow, allowing flexibility and aiding collaboration. It enables project teams to assemble a unique collaborative working environment in minutes and adapt it to their needs as they change,” says the Kickstarter page.

An early bird special costs about $110 with delivery set for January next year. Unfortunately, shipping from New Zealand to the U.S. is very expensive (about the same as the desk itself). However, Refold hopes to set up production here soon.

But won’t the cardboard degrade before too long? Maybe, says Oliver Ward, one of the team, but the material has advantages as well. “It’s affordable, accessible, lightweight, foldable, completely recyclable and surprisingly strong. The desk is like a pair of shoes. It slowly wears in, but if you look after it, it will last a long time,” he writes in an email.


There are even other cardboard desks on the market, including one called the Chairigami. But Ward says the Refold is unique in the way it’s made (it is cut with a computer-controlled knife) and in the fact that it’s completely portable.

“Refold’s desk differentiates itself by folding up in seconds to a self-contained carry-case for maximum portability and easy storage,” he writes. “This enables a new way of working, where and how you want.”

About the author

Ben Schiller is a New York staff writer for Fast Company. Previously, he edited a European management magazine and was a reporter in San Francisco, Prague, and Brussels.