Overmatter: Bed and board


Cardboard boxes, cardboard displays, cardboard desks and chairs, cardboard coffins… even entire buildings have been constructed from cardboard tubes. As most of us in the industry well know, cardboard is a material with many and varied uses.

Well, cardboard’s versatility is going to have a very high-profile showcase this year, at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic games.

The organisers have set out ambitious plans for sustainability at the event, and part of that involves the athletes’ village where competitors will be sleeping on – yes, you guessed it – bed platforms cleverly constructed from cardboard.

This being Japan it could have been a case of no bed platform at all, but Overmatter imagines that not all participants would be happy to wrangle with a floor-level futon.

Some 18,000 beds will be made for the Olympics, with 8,000 required for the Paralympics, a nice cardboard origami order for someone.

According to the spec, the bed platforms are 2.1m long, which should be enough for all but the tallest competitors, and specialist bedding partner Airweave is apparently confident that the cardboard construction will bear around 200kg – enough for a full-sized Sumo wrestler. But not, perhaps, two.

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