When they descend upon campus in September, the next wave of doe-eyed froshes will face, for the very first time, the blank slate of an empty dorm room. It is a blank slate usually filled by the cheapest objects of home decor a few hours at Ikea can afford. But even shitty Ikea furniture is expensive, it takes forever to set-up, it has no resale value, and let’s face it, you’re going to trash it anyway. So why bother?
Design firm Our Paper Life has an alternative. They call it Room in a Box, and it’s exactly what it says on the tin: a wheeled cardboard box that is delivered right to your room. Inside, the box contains an entire suite of furnishings for your room made out of rugged cardboard: a folding desk, a chair, a wastebasket, and 12 cardboard cubes that you can use to make shelves, dressers, and even a platform for your mattress.
Supposedly, the Room in a Box is easy to set up: the company claims that, if you know what you’re doing, the whole thing can be completed in 10 minutes, no glue, tape, or Torx wrenches required. The box itself comes on wheels, so it’s easy to move, and while the furniture is made out of cardboard, it’s at least pretty good cardboard: the Room in a Box is laminated for water-resistance, and it comes in a colorful palette of blue, green, red, and yellow.
Is cardboard glamorous? No. Is it going to facilitate your amorous consequences? No. Will it hold up to spilled beer, Red Bull, puke, urine, bong water, or any of the other liquids that are regularly sprayed across college dorm rooms? Maybe, but I wouldn’t press it. Then again, all the above is true of the bottom-of-the-barrel Ikea dorm room suite, which costs significantly more than the $149 pre-order price of a Room In The Box on Our Paper Life’s Indiegogo page.