The Box Trolls

Some of you may have seen the recent movie ‘Box Trolls,’  some of you may not have.  The point is that the trolls of said movie wear and live in boxes; precisely what Studio V is preparing to do this week figuratively speaking (though I am sure once the mock-up begins that could become literal).  We shall be immersed in boxes and become box trolls.  Box connection, box hardware, box construction, box layout, and box building are the five areas of focus.  Teams of two trolls are each tackling one of these area to generate ideas and proposals to share with the rest of the trolls….

But actually.  Each team is currently preparing a small presentation of their findings and design suggestions for the rest of the team.  We plan to make this a charette type of environment, where ideas will be tossed around and major decisions made.  This is all in the interest of preventing an all too diverse skew of different directions that could only hinder the creation of a highly integrated, well informed system.  As goes with any of your typical design challenges, each of the five areas of focus have their own issues.  How will all of the mechanical systems integrate into these cabinets as related to the rest of the house?  How will making complicated box connections create excess in production time and cost?  How will the box layout affect the choice of hardware and vice versa?  Which sections of the mockup will most benefit our knowledge of the system for the final build?  Will we produce our own doors or buy them and how will this affect the hardware choice?  All these questions and more will be debated upon and answered in the next few days.  This may mean we may need to scale down our ambitions when it comes to time and money – something typical of the architectural practice.  Each of our fields of focus will be ultimately affected by this.  How the saying goes: you have quality, time, and money – now pick two.


This discussion will be a huge moment for our team because not only will it continue to develop our dynamic as a team but also will be telltale of how the final design will shape up.  We want these cabinets to integrate many things, and together we have the concepts and tools to do it in all the areas of firmness, commodity, delight, and innovation.  How we creatively use the standards of box building – dimensions, hardware, construction method, etc.  will be our stepping stones to create a workable, well programmed system of boxes to meet the needs of our house dwellers.  In the programming team we have looked at how standard dimensions of typical objects, from depths of a drawer for t-shirts to gaming consoles, all relate and drive the spacing of the boxes.  This can get tricky since we have to balance a level of flexibility along with using these standards to make the cabinets useful to the user.  Do some boxes stack in a way to create voids among them to allow for the systems to run in?  Some boxes could stretch all the way through walls, where others could be very shallow and the reverse side deep.  Ikea has ended up being a great source of dimensions and standards with a clean look to inspire our thoughts.  Even a simple standard seen everywhere can become cutting edge innovation when used differently from the standard.

PS3-slim-console  950101

Our trolls are ready to live in these boxes, and who knows, maybe the occupants of the house will love the system so much they become box trolls too!

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