Almost everyone has lived on a student budget at some point. In 2019, 3rd year product design student, Karthic Rathinam’s life was no different. That was the year he decided to rent a studio apartment in Pune, near his college, as he had to move out of his hostel. The rest of his money would go into food and transport or furnishing his apartment. He was sitting in his empty room surrounded by cardboard boxes, containing all of his belongings, when he had an epiphany.

With his three years of experience designing products, he decided to make his own furniture using the cardboard that surrounded him. “So that’s how I started. I made a bed, and I slept in the bed for one and a half years.” Karthic recalls laughing, “And during that time I learned a lot about cardboard – how it works, structural properties and everything.”

After spending a lot of time in college experimenting and acquainting himself with the material, Karthic decided to cut short his five year degree and moved back to Chennai, just in time for the statewide lockdown due to the pandemic.


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