I realize it's absurd, but having helped more than one friend move house in New York City, I often wish furniture was designed to neatly fit in East Village stairwells and coffin-sized elevators.
Obra Architects have answered my psychic pleas with their awesome Furniture Expansion System for Small Apartments in Big Cities, designed for "lifestyles of minimal materiality:"
The System is composed of hollow wood panels and cabinet units that can partition a space vertically or horizontally depending on the potential of the existing interior. These units are designed for maximum structural performance, minimum weight and ease of installation, relying on hollow 1/2 ash plywood construction and a maximum size of 2x8 feet that fits through doors and onto elevator cabs.
The system can be deployed vertically to define partitions or horizontally to create loft floors by staggering the 8-foot panels to reinforce each other to a span of up to 20 feet.
It is manufactured off-site utilizing CNC technology and requires only dry assembly for its site installation.
It allows maximum use of minimum space with the possibility of endless reconfiguration and the potential of taking the rooms with you when moving out.
The panel construction relies on the use of semi-concealed fasteners, which punctuate the surfaces with access openings that characterize the walls and floors with anunintentional ornamentation that is derived from the necessities of its assembly.
It was developed way back in 2007, so the fact that it hasn't hit the big-time yet means they've either got a crappy PR machine, or it's another good idea that's been buried in the avalanche of better-publicized mediocrity that plagues us all and will never see the light of day.
Next time I get the call, I'm gonna tell my friends to hire movers; in this economy, the going rates have probably dropped substantially.