The patented technology that won Wintec International the Design Indaba Expo’s Innovation Award this year has been used to create the recently released Rhino, a drinks table made from the same rigid flat board.
The Rhino is a three-dimensional, hollowed-out, sculptural piece that may be flexed to express different stances: head up or down, tail up or down. Apart from a potential drinks table, pedestal or ornament, it can also be fixed against a wall in its flat ‘skin’ form with the horn protruding from the flat surface.
Designer Al Stratford worked on and off over a number of months, from computer to paper models, refining the pattern and finally "printing" out the Rhino with a CNC routing machine.
The design is inspired by the Charles and Ray Eames Elephant created in the 1950s, as well as being a statement against the rampant rhino poaching happening in South Africa.
The Stratflex flat-pack furniture system utilises specialised rubbers. This technology allows rigid, flat boards made from plywood with frames made from locally sourced and sustainable saligna plantation timber to bend in a strategically flexible way, and in two and three dimensions.
The rhino sells for R6000 including VAT and shipping in South Africa.