Jul 08 2019

Invisible technology for furniture design

Whether it’s in the kitchen or the living room, horizontal storage cabinets with lift-up flaps are experiencing a renaissance. But any technology used in eye-level wall units is immediately visible. This means the fittings have to be delicate or, better still, invisible. Kesseböhmer, Grass and Hettich have accepted this challenge. They presented their latest flap systems at interzum. 

Solutions for wall units

The new generation of flap fittings integrate almost invisibly into the furniture, making completely new wall unit designs possible. In the past, visual standards often had to be lowered because flap systems were usually mounted externally, where they were highly conspicuous.

Small and discreet yet powerful marvels of technology demonstrated at this year’s interzum that the miniaturisation of furniture fittings technology has advanced significantly. The new generation of fittings differ from the previous standard solutions on the market not just in terms of their dimensions and design – they also provide additional practical functions.

Leading the way are companies like Kesseböhmer, Grass and Hettich. With the products that they unveiled at the trade fair, they demonstrated that innovative solutions for fittings technology can result in new design possibilities for wall units. New possibilities in terms of materials, but first and foremost greater design diversity.

Delicate or invisible fittings mean that lightweight wall units with glass front doors are now possible. They have made the overall spectrum of possibilities broader for furniture designers. But the latest fittings don’t just improve the design; they also solve another problem by creating more space inside the cabinet carcass.

Minimalised fittings

FREEspace by Kesseböhmer is a small, compact flap fitting that is mounted inside the cabinet carcass, but differs significantly from the previous solutions on the market in its dimensions, design and technology.

Minimal installation depth, slimline front attachment and springs integrated in the lever make it considerably smaller than other flap fittings. It can be securely and easily fitted to the side of the carcass thanks to a pre-assembled special screw. All this adds up to make FREEspace a worthy recipient of the interzum award: intelligent material & design 2019 for High Product Quality.

FREEspace is not an optimisation, but a true innovation in technology, function and design. The fitting deserves attention not just because of its unobtrusive design. Outstanding damping technology prevents fingers from being trapped and closes the flap almost noiselessly.

Invisible flap fittings

With Kinvaro T-Slim, Austrian company Grass has created a fitting that can be recessed into the cabinet as well as fitted as standard to the inside. With this innovation, the fitting disappears completely into the carcass.

“We’ve been one of the pioneers in the furniture industry for more than 70 years,” says Harald Küper, Flap Systems Product Manager at Grass. “With Kinvaro T-Slim, we’re writing a new chapter in our history of innovation. After introducing the first concealed hinge and inventing the double-wall drawer, now we have created a new dimension of invisibility with Kinvaro T-Slim.”

Hettich from North Rhine-Westphalia is going one step further. The ViZard flap fitting by ambigence is mounted exclusively inside the furniture side panel, rendering the technology completely invisible. The fitting is also available in push-to-open options with a soft-opening and -closing mechanism. The company won the Red Dot Design Award in the Product Design 2019 category for the innovation.

Heading into the future with new fittings

So what makes a good movement system? It must be subordinate to the function of the item of furniture in which it is fitted and yet able to inspire aesthetically. As trends move faster and faster, innovative fitting systems must provide furniture manufacturers with flexible solutions as well as making a distinct difference through the comfort of movement and elegance that they contribute.

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