Custo, a newly launched online furniture design platform by Camiel Weijenberg, lets you create made-to-measure storage solutions with just a few clicks.
3 May 2018
Text by Aditi Gaitonde Fernandes
Trying to find a bookshelf to sit snug under the window sill or a shelving unit that’s optimal in both shape and size? Finding furniture that fits effortlessly in your space, especially in a smaller home, is often a task. So when award-winning architect and designer Camiel Weijenberg and his wife had trouble finding the perfect piece of furniture for an unused spot, he carved out a more permanent solution.
He recently launched Custo – Singapore’s first online furniture design platform that lets you custom create storage furniture. Enter the measurement, click on your preferred design and add a few features to create made-to-measure shelving, cabinets or sideboards. We chatted with Camiel to find out what lead to this venture and where it’s going.
Is space solution the need of the hour?
Yes, living spaces have been reducing considerably in the last two years. The need for more space and better use of space is universal. So we making the best of the available space is vital.
At Custo, we help our customers use space in a more efficient way and help free up space in their homes and working environments. We aim to look for sustainable ways to do that in Asia.
What sparked the idea for Custo?
It must’ve been a year ago. We had a free corner in our bedroom and my wife wanted some furniture to fill it. We went to brick-and-mortar stores but we didn’t find the perfect piece that fulfilled our requirements. Since there was so much space going unused, I started to think of a different solution.
A team at our design firm Weijenberg Pte Ltd started to work on a system that could automate the production of furniture. Think of it as a digital carpenter. This website is the tool for customers to create exactly what they require, after which a machine will cut out the order with precision.
It sounds simple, but the coding and integration of workflow in the early stages of this project was intensive work. Together with a team of students and professors at Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), we created the first mock-up of the platform and started testing the production. It’s a really exciting process… we have automated so much, yet managed to give our customers the flexibility to customise.
Are the products eco-friendly and sustainable?
All materials are sustainably sourced and the wood is certified, which means it’s from replanted forests. We do not support using wood from pristine forest areas. As opposed to large warehouses in other countries where shipping furniture has a large shipping footprint, we produce locally and on demand, therefore the shipping is very efficient.
We produce locally in the close range of our customers. This is a vital part of our thinking and how we approach designing the furniture down to the simple snap-fit joints so everyone can put the furniture together.
What can we expect from Custo in the future?
Currently, we look to address real pain points of space and storage by allowing our customers to place orders as per their unique dimensions. One can create several millions of options on the website. In time, our team will also go beyond storage solutions.
But right now, we are once again working with SUTD to develop a smart self-generative furniture app, which will be a combination of AI and AR. It allows you to measure space on your phone, while the app customises and optimises the space for you.
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