From Eames Elephant to Stratflex Rhino

Presenting the Stratflex Rhino from the winner of the 2013 Design Indaba Expo’s Innovation Award.

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.