We've all heard that "Time is money." Less often said, but no less true, is that these days space is money too. Now a business in the UK, School Trunk, is aiming to help boarding schools complete that latter equation and turn their extra space into profits, aided in part by a space-saving product design.
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You may not see the stackable Stakrak Folding Box feted at the MoMA anytime soon, but the product is an example of the nuts-and-bolts industrial design that quietly helps to improve businesses. It's a sturdy, well-conceived polypropylene storage container that works like so:
When compressed, the Folding Box sheds some 80% of its volume. This is an obvious boon for industrial applications where incoming and outgoing inventory is constantly altering the site's storage needs. But the way School Trunk is using it is to help turn schools into getaways.
Since boarding schools are unoccupied during the summer holidays, School Trunk offers to come in and clean out all of the school's and students' materials, trucking them off in the Stakrak Folding Boxes purchased by the school. Thus emptied, said boarding schools—which are often set in idyllic locations—can now rent their rooms out to vacationers, turning the otherwise wasted space into summertime income generators. Once summer's over, School Trunk sweeps back in, restores all of the gear, and it's back to business as usual.
The folded-up Stakraks are easy to store away when not needed; folded down, they can be stacked ten high. They can be stacked four high when full, and placed atop purpose-designed rolling bases to make transportation easier. The polypropylene and judiciously-placed ribs make them sturdy enough to survive what cardboard boxes would not.
A good use of industrial design fulfilling its promise of utility, absent any glory? Yes.