Hex is a new modular shelving system based on a custom aluminum extrusion. Aluminum extrusions are used in a wide range of industries, including aircraft, automobiles, and architecture. They enable the designer to create a thin, light structure with maximum stiffness and minimal cost. It's an additive process, so no material is wasted as scrap. Aluminum is easily recyclable, and typically contains a high level of recycled content.
Hex combines aluminum extrusions with warm, very strong, maple multi-ply plywood. The sides have a hexagon cutout inspired by the cellular structure of a beehive. These cutouts lighten the piece visually, but also literally- reducing shipping cost and making it easier to handle.
The wood has a UV cured, zero VOC finish that is extremely durable, combined with a linseed oil finish on the edges. The extrusions are clear anodized (like a MacBook Pro).
Hex is designed with flexibility in mind- there are two width options, two depth options, and multiple heights. Units can be joined together with extra shelves to form a continuous wall of shelving. Because the extrusions are so stiff, the shelves can be heavily loaded, even over long spans, with no visible sag.
Assembly and disassembly are very easy. Hex uses no cam locks, wood screws, or any other fastening method prone to wear out and fail over time.
The extrusions are made in Kentucky, the wood comes from Oregon, and the rest is all done right here in Denver.
The first Hex prototype is on display until February 2012 at the Design By Colorado exhibition at Denver International Airport (Terminal A bridge).
I started Housefish in 2008 to test a theory.
furniture manufacturing can be a very dirty business. Because of
widespread deforestation in Asia, wood is often shipped from the US and
Europe to China. There it is turned into furniture in poorly regulated
factories, then shipped all the way back across the world to the US.
Because of relentless cost pressures, it is made as cheaply as possible,
using poor quality materials and construction, and wears out quickly,
requiring the purchaser to repeat the whole process again in just a few
This model is fundamentally broken.
I believed that it was still possible to make furniture in the US that
regular people could afford- not by using hand-built craft methods, but
by taking advantage of one of our country's unique strengths: a wealth
of high-tech automated industrial and aerospace manufacturing expertise.
By minimizing expensive labor inputs we can keep our economic activity
here at home, without pricing our products beyond the reach of our
friends and family.
I also believed we could minimize the environmental and health impacts of the products we create in several ways:
- By building products locally and making them easy to ship, we reduce the energy used to transport them.
- By using exceptionally high quality, durable materials, we can make
products to last decades, that won't fall apart and need to be replaced.
- By using 100% FSC certified wood, we can be sure it was grown and harvested responsibly.
- By using 100% zero VOC finishes, and zero
formaldehyde adhesives, we can ensure the health of our workers and our customers.
- By eliminating all styrofoam and other plastics from our packaging (we even use paper
tape), we can make our waste easy to recycle or even compost, so it won't end up
floating around the Pacific Gyre.
In 2008 we tested these hypotheses with our Key line of modular storage. Three years and hundreds of happy customers later, we're ready for the next round of our experiment.
The Hex Lineup:
4 feet wide, 5 shelves
47.5" w x 71.75" h x 15.375" d
4 feet wide, 4 shelves
47.5" w x 55.75" h x 15.375" d
4 feet wide, 3 shelves
47.5" w x 39.75" h x 15.375" d
4 feet wide, 2 shelves
Vertically modular: can be stacked atop other 4x2 units, up to three units high
Stacked modules lock together with steel pins
Single unit can be used as a bench
47.5" w x 23.75" h x 15.375" d
Hex 6x2 XD
6 feet wide, 2 shelves, 2 feet deep
Extra Deep to accommodate larger items like stereo and video components
71.5" w x 23.75" h x 23.375" d
6 feet wide, 5 shelves
71.5" w x 71.75" h x 15.375" d
All reward levels include free shipping to the lower 48 United States. For shipping elsewhere, please contact us for a quote before entering a pledge amount. And if you're in Colorado, I'll drop it off and set it up for you!
Why We Need Your Help:
Aluminum extrusions are a great technology, but they require considerable upfront tooling costs. They also have a relatively long lead time, so we have to order higher quantities. Similarly, the wood we use requires a large minimum order. By consolidating a bunch of orders up front, we can address all of these issues at the same time. In the process (and as a reward for your patience), you get a big discount. We have already received sample extrusions made on our tooling. We have built prototypes. The design and engineering issues are resolved. We just need to place production quantity orders.
We think Hex is going to be a big success and help take Housefish to the next level, but we can't do it without you.
Thanks for your help,