Throughout life we acquire possessions: from books and small objects purchased throughout travels to meaningful gifts. They end up stored in cardboard boxes, unappreciated or displayed somewhere within our homes. Rotterdam-based designer Reinier de Jong introduces a storage solution to accommodate our ever-changing needs: REK is an expandable bookcase that grows with your collection and is always full, regardless of the quantity of books and objects it holds.
REK. Designed by Reinier de Jong.
Like the Toto’s expandable v-bed, REK grows with you and your space. “The more books, the bigger the bookcase,” according to the designer. Although the basic idea has been around for centuries, the application is entirely innovative. Kitchen bowls of varying sizes fit within each other for consolidated storage, and Russian nesting dolls which decrease in size, are placed one inside the other. These objects have the ability to be space-saving in their consolidated form, but individual components can be expanded out from each other to reveal themselves. The same ideas apply to REK whose five components are like puzzle pieces. “When in use, the zigzag shaped parts slide in or out to accommodate books in the resulting voids.” The relationship between solid and void changes as it is reconfigured, resulting in more or less storage and taking up more or less space. REK is anything from a solid sculptural object to a series of large open bookshelves.
“Also, the books can be arranged according to their size. The narrow spaces are excellent for magazines.” As noted by the designer on his website. REK contracts to save space or expands to reveal additional shelving. It operates like an accordion, similarly to Molo’s Softwall. The same functionality and flexibility applies to both Molo’s soft wall and de Jong’s REK bookshelf. Although different materials and operations are in effect, the idea is the same. The exterior of REK is finished with a white high gloss laminate and the inside in a warm-grey satin laminate. Even without the need for flexible storage, REK is a beautiful piece easily likened to a piece of art.