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This Clever Shelf Is Designed For The Age Of Pop-Up Retail

Part acoustic wall panel and part elegant shelving system, Shift caters to nimble shops that need to turn on a dime.

In the age of Amazon, many brick-and-mortar stores are striving to become more flexible, using the space they have to accommodate a range of different uses, like events, as well as adjusting to changes in inventory more quickly. A new shelving system created by the London-based agency Layer enables that kind of flexibility, smoothly transforming from a flat acoustic wall panel to shelving in just a few seconds.

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The system, called Shift, doesn’t use any screws or bolts. In its collapsed form, each panel is attached by magnets to the wall. To turn the panel into a shelf, you simply lift each flap up; grooves in the middle of the panel enable it to bend. There are brackets hidden beneath each panel that swing out to support the shelves, which are made of a recycled textile created by the Danish fabric companies Kvadrat and Really.

[Image: courtesy Layer]

Designed over the course of 10 prototypes and six months, it’s a clever system that has the changing needs of retailers in mind. When stores are used for events, Shift allows employees to quickly rearrange the space and create more room; as inventory shifts, so can the shop’s shelving. And for spaces that frequently host pop-up retailers, the system is a perfect solution, giving any new tenant instantly customizable shelving. When it’s not in use as shelving, Shift has another function: acoustic wall paneling.

Kvadrat will launch the system at Salone de Mobile later this month.

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About the author

Katharine Schwab is the deputy editor of Fast Company's technology section. Email her at kschwab@fastcompany.com and follow her on Twitter @kschwabable

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