Innovation That Matters

Downloadable designer furniture can be made locally

Work & Lifestyle

Opendesk is a platform that enables customers to download furniture designs from around the world, and have them made at a local workshop.

Shipping furniture can be costly and result in long shipping times. But one Hackney-based company is looking to disrupt the furniture market. Opendesk offers designer furniture that can be made locally around the world.

The company connects local workshops with online designs. Rather than buying individual pieces and shipping them across the world, customers can pay for access to the design as a file, and have the furniture built for them in their own country by local makers. The designs work for flat-pack products that can be easily assembled on site, using locally sourced materials.


The program also helps small-scale creatives and designers, giving them a global platform for their designs without having to sort out shipping themselves. In their own words, Opendesk say they are “trying to do to Ikea what AirBnB has done to traditional hotel chains.”


The company is also aiming to appeal to customers through a new service, Opendesk Express, which enables customers to buy on-demand desks that are shipped within 14 days. Customers of the service can checkout instantly, rather than wait for a quote.

Opendesk is also planning new smart features for their office ware, developing new utilities for desks such as phone charging points and touch sensors. We have already seen furniture retailers offer customers augmented reality previews. How else can the furniture industry make use of digital business models?



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