SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft features a neat trick: After being launched into space, it deploys massive solar arrays that unfold from the rocket body (video here). These arrays suck up the sun’s delicious juice, providing power for the craft’s sensors, communications systems, and heating and cooling systems.
It took a team of engineers to get that to work, and Brian Ignaut was one of them. “I worked on [the] deployable solar arrays at SpaceX for six years,” he writes, before revealing that he had a hobby on the side: Designing and building furniture that also unfolds.
Listen beautiful relax classics on our Youtube channel.
What appear to be odd-shaped stacks of wood are pulled open to transform into furniture pieces that lock into place, without the user needing to mess with fasteners. It’s almost like flat-pack furniture that self-assembles, with minor input from the user.
Ignaut “went rogue” in 2018, quitting SpaceX to focus on designing, building and selling his own furniture. For now his prices are high, but Ignaut sees that as a temporary necessity. “Affordability is the ultimate goal,” he writes. “I’m excited about making things that a wider audience can purchase. Though I’m not there today, hopefully these higher priced runs will be able to subsidize the development of more cost effective iterations.”
Check out his company, Degrees of Freedom.