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The Cardboard Standing Desk: Stand Up for Creativity's video poster

The first standing desk that is affordable, simple, and green. Great for home offices, growing businesses, and co-working spaces! Read more

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This project was successfully funded on April 11, 2014.

The first standing desk that is affordable, simple, and green. Great for home offices, growing businesses, and co-working spaces!

About this project

Thanks to all our backers for making The Cardboard Standing Desk a reality!  

Funding has ended on Kickstarter, but you can head over to to get more info and place an order.

Meet the cardboard standing desk. Put simply, a standing desk allows you to work on your feet rather than sitting idly. When you are standing up you are free to move. Standing while working requires balance, engaging your back, shoulders, and leg muscles, burning energy, and keeping you focused. It's a great way to make working healthier.

We noticed that office-worthy standing desks are ridiculously expensive. Standing desks range from $500 to over $2000 and the only alternative is to hack together solutions from furniture parts.  So, we redesigned the standing desk from scratch to make it both elegant and affordable.

Here's where our hero, corrugated cardboard, comes in. Corrugated cardboard is lightweight, durable, recyclable, and inexpensive. It's the perfect medium for a new breed of standing desks.

After months of prototyping and testing with our New England manufacturing facility, we whittled the standing desk down to its most basic form, minimizing material and maximizing functionality. No glues, fasteners, or extraneous parts, simply folded cardboard. The cardboard standing desk was born. Made in America and proud of it.

The cardboard standing desk is so light, you might even forget it's there. You can't help but bring your work surface with you to your favorite spot by the window. 

It weighs only 15 pounds.

In today's start-up culture, things change quickly and offices need to be flexible. The cardboard standing desk makes it easy for teams to test new floor plans and accommodate new employees.  By supporting mobility in the workplace, the cardboard standing desk stimulates spontaneous creative collaboration .    

The cardboard standing desk is stronger than you think. 

It can hold up to 300 lbs and lasts 2-3 years.

 The corrugated cardboard we use is incredibly durable and the great news is, the more weight you put on the desk, the more solid the structure becomes. 

Sitting all day can't be good for you. Even the New York Times says to beware the chair: "long periods of sitting reduce the production of enzymes that help burn fat, slow the metabolism, and lower levels of good cholesterol in the body". 

It's 42" tall, the same height as a bar counter top.

 The desk caters to a wide range of user heights from 5'2" to 6'2".  So go ahead, stand up for yourself and create the work space you need to think on your feet. The cardboard standing desk makes it that much easier for you to be dynamic and mobile while you work and also helps you maintain better posture.

The cardboard standing desk comes flat-packed in box measuring only 43"L x 25"W x 4"H.  This box is also a perfect way to keep the standing desk for moving or storage.  Because the desk flat-packs into such a small box, we were able to save you a ton of money on shipping costs especially to our friends in California. 

It assembles in less than 5 minutes

 There are no fasteners or adhesives and you don't need a PhD in engineering to put it together. The desk is made of four simple parts: a desk top, two legs, and a support brace. These pieces fold and then easily slot together to create a simple, minimalist structure.

We make our standing desks with one simple material: corrugated cardboard. We only use FSC certified c-flute corrugated cardboard made from 70% recycled and 30% virgin fiber. 

It's 100% recyclable.

Here's the production story: corrugated cardboard sheets are first manufactured in Massachusetts, our production facility in Connecticut die-cuts the corrugated sheets into furniture, and finally the die-cut parts are assembled and shipped from our fulfillment center in Connecticut. Not only are our desks American made, but also all stages of desk production are located within a 100 mile radius in New England. Because we are local, we significantly reduce our carbon footprint.

 Cardboard is both easy to hack and extremely forgiving. The cardboard standing desk is the perfect medium that allows you to personalize your workspace. Sharpie, paint, or silk screen the desk surface with your favorite designs or logos. Cut holes for power cords, monitors, or even that handy business card tray you always wanted. The cardboard standing desk is an easy way for you to express yourself through your furniture. We can't wait to customize ours with speakers!

US shipping included in all prices

                           a customized wheel chair tray for Hannah

I'm Zachary Rotholz and I fell in love with cardboard in 2010 when I worked as a summer intern at the Adaptive Design Association in New York.  At Adaptive design, I learned the techniques of cardboard carpentry to create custom furniture for children with disabilities. I designed cardboard adaptions for children like Hannah to help create healthier and more ergonomic work and play environments.  

Inspired by cardboard, I decided to research further. For my senior thesis in Mechanical Engineering at Yale, I designed a cardboard modular furniture system for college students. 

After graduating from Yale in 2011, I completed a fellowship at the Yale Entrepreneurial Institute. With the support of the Yale University Office of New Haven and State Affairs, I opened a retail store in New Haven, Connecticut.  It's called Chairigami.

At Chairigami, I began by designing and inventing cardboard furniture for both Yale students and the New Haven community, producing everything from beds to chaise lounges. We've now expanded to manufacture both office furniture and trade show booths for a national audience.   All of my pieces are hand-made and produced in my small cardboard carpentry store.

The Chairigami retail store is a wonderful laboratory to create and test new ideas with clients. 

               a standing office designed for a local business in New Haven

One of the very first pieces I was asked to design at Chairigami was a standing desk. Two years later it is still one of my most popular items for both start-ups and trade show booths. While the standing desk has been a huge success, my production is limited and costly because I produce the desks by hand in my retail store.

To make the cardboard standing desk available to all the unsatisfied sitters out there, we need your help. The production of cardboard standing desks isn't easy.  We need to invest in large, expensive rotatory dies that will punch out our designs from corrugated cardboard sheets. We also need to purchase excellent quality corrugated cardboard for both the standing desks and their retail-worthy packaging.

                             our manufacturing facility in New England

To ensure that everything runs smoothly, we have spent the last six months developing excellent relationships with our die-cutting facility and assembly/fulfillment center located right here in Connecticut.

The most important reason for launching this kickstarter is to allow you to design and create your own office space.  Cardboard is an open source material that is both easy to hack and forgiving to work with. We think it’s important to break down the barriers that prevent people from creating ergonomic and energizing work environments. With the cardboard standing desk, we hope to bring sustainability, creativity, and spontaneous collaboration to the workplace of the future. 

We will manufacture a test die and complete a small test production run at the end of the kickstarter period. Final dies will be ordered immediately after the kickstarter is successful so we can launch into desk production by the beginning of May.  Standing desk production and packaging production will continue throughout May and until the middle of June. We will simultaneously package and ship in small batches in July and August. After the final shipment, there will be an epic celebration dance.

 Thanks for your all of your support,



Risks and challenges

We're good friends with cardboard after 3 years of manufacturing cardboard furniture and running the chairigami retail store. That said, there are always logistical challenges when scaling up production.

When die-cutting corrugated sheets, it is always a challenge to make the transition from a computer controlled cutting table to the production of a rotary cutting die. To ensure accuracy of slot tolerances and folding tolerances we will first produce a test run with a small prototype die and meticulously evaluate the dies with our die manufacturer. This way we can ensure that our large dies meet our exact design specifications. We have had the past experience of die-cutting a custom 2,000 part stool order and can confidently navigate the manufacturing process.

Another challenge of production is to correctly group parts to create complete packages. We whittled down the design of the standing desk to be made up of only four simple parts. Identification labels will be stamped on each part to prevent assembly confusion. Additionally, we will produce and assemble the product in small batches in order to closely monitor the manufacturing process.

To make sure everyone receives their product on time, we have been working diligently with our UPS representatives to efficiently track and organize all of our Kickstarter orders.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter


  • To our awesome International Supporters: We met with our shipping experts and decided that it makes the most sense to keep the Kickstarter Campaign domestic. International shipping as you guys know is extremely expensive, it can sometimes even be more than the cost of the Cardboard Standing Desk, and varies a lot from country to country. And we don't want you guys having to pay more than you have to. But never fear! The Cardboard Standing Desk will still be available after the Kickstarter in the fall of 2014. We will then be equipped to handle individual international orders through the chairigami website and be able to price shipping more fairly. Hang tight and thanks again to everyone around the world for your support.

    Last updated:
  • The illustrious David Bailen of course! He's my cousin, but also a great film maker and musician.

    Last updated:


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    Be part of the story. Get a personal thank you video from our founder.

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    Miniature Standing Desk. Get a 1/10 scale standing desk model and pledge your allegiance to the cardboard standing desk. Shipping to US addresses included.

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    200 backers All gone!

    Early Bird Standing Desk. Early backers should get a good deal. Get the cardboard standing desk and pave the way for the cardboard revolution. 42"L x 24"W x 42"H. Shipping to US addresses included.

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    Standing Desk. Get the cardboard standing desk and stand up for sustainability, mobility, and cardboard. 42"L x 24" W x 42"H. Shipping to US addresses included.

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    14 backers Limited (36 left of 50)

    Standing Desk with Custom Graphics. Get a cardboard standing desk personalized with your name or company logo in black vinyl lettering. 42"L x 24"W x 42"H. Shipping to US addresses included

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    The Small Start-up. Get a cardboard standing desk furniture set that supports a creative team of six. Shipping to US addresses included.

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    The Office. Get your office furnished with a cardboard standing desk furniture set that supports a creative team of ten. Plus get a Chairigami lounge area that seats six. Our founder will personally customize your creative cardboard workspace. Shipping to US addresses included.

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Funding period

- (30 days)