Other Today Studio is a collective of 45 designers and makers. For their recent One Sheet project, they set out to use digital fabrication to create useful items from single sheets of material, whether plywood, cardboard, acrylic, et cetera, with a mandate of leaving minimal to no waste. You can see the full range of their experiments here, but the one that really struck me was this Chess is More execution, completed by an anonymous member of the group:
"For the One Sheet brief I created a flat pack minimal chess set for children to learn how to play chess, as well as allowing the wide spread of education and the game of chess. It can be brought as a completed board, or the DXF can be brought for it to be made in a Fab Lab or if you have access to a laser cutter, the profits will then go towards the creation of a separate board which will go to a disadvantaged school."
The designer realized that conventional chess boards and their pieces are created separately, and often in processes that create waste. The designer then wondered: "Why can't the pieces and board be incorporated into the same design, minimizing waste and allowing the product to be [easily shipped] worldwide?" S/he then came up with the solution by experimenting with a laser cutter, cardboard and 3mm sheets of plywood:
Just brilliant. And if you want to see documentation of the considerable amount of research and experimentation undertaken by the designer, click here.