Royal College of Art: Design Products: Foldboat

Design students Max Frommeld and Arno Mathies were both studying for their Masters degrees in the Design Products programme at the Royal College of Art when they conceived the Foldboat. In a paper furniture workshop they started to understand origami techniques and they wanted to use these techniques to create a functional product. The boat is folded from a 8ft by 5ft piece of plastic and can be transformed from a flat sheet to a rowing boat by a single person in under three minutes using only three components. ‘You just fold it, clip it together then push it out into the water.’ If this was made affordable, the Foldboat could be of considerable use in flood prone areas.


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19 Comments on "Royal College of Art: Design Products: Foldboat"

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Jade P

wish these young men all the best with their business.

R Mccoppin

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R Wetzel

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interesting idea yes … hope it works out well for these boys.

Trevor B

Hope it works as promised, don’t want anyone going down with this!


Hello. I am planning to take product or industrial design aftemy high school.I love drawing and painting and I am also good at robotics and aeromodelling.Whaht would be best for me?A nd can I do majoring in product design after I finish architecture? Sorry about my questions..


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hmm product design using sheets of plastic..I think that prevents them from being sustainable in that masses of plastic are disposed in landfill etc. creating plastic dumps all over the planet. Could there be design changes that will help prevent this…alternative materials. Thanks


Very curious about this, 3 components, under 3 mins assembly – sometimes lot of claims are just hot air, or cold water in this case?


Smart. Hope the product does well. Promoting any product is such a thankless job.


Looks a bit flimsy eh? would not know how these are until one has been in one. But, by then might be


Inspiring man. i’m a junior in high school, going to major in art/design and i’m starting to think where to apply for college. My dad wants me to go into a good art institute, which i definitely am considering (SAFI, SAIC, RISD, NYU, SVA, YALE) but my mom doesn’t mind me going into a liberal art college.
I don’t mind if it’s international (esp in England). Like Royal College of Art :D hahaha.

Issac M

Hello just thought i would tell you something.. This is twice now i’ve landed on your blog in the last 2 days searching for completely unrelated things. Spooky or what? :)


I’ve been thinking about applying to the royal college of art for the innovative design engineering program. I’ve head they have a good innovation design program compared to most colleges and was wondering if it’s worth attending even if I’m not from the UK. First hand opinions and experiences would be much appreciated!!!


This is a superb example of simple, creative design and the cost will come down once it goes into production and has a distribution network. This product is not only fun, but it may well save lives. Thumbsup.


Great idea! I think mass producing and finding a market will be the challenge. The problem with most student design ideas is that more often than not, they do not translate very well to mass production, mass market.


Needs a small keel or strakes so that it maintains directional stability and can be rowed cross wind more easily. Priced rather high as well…£800 I hear!


Hey, guys, if you are going to float around in Tuppaware boxes please set a better example to our kids and WEAR A LIFEJACKET.

K Shanklin

Good invention as long as it has had all the safety checks etc. Would be useful for rescue teams or people who like the outdoors.