Bookshelf by Koala

  • 2020

  • Product
    Furniture and Lighting

Commissioned By:

Koala Sleep Pty Ltd

Designed In:


The Koala bookshelf suite allows you to curate your home like you do your social accounts, displaying what you love and hiding what’s private. It’s your life on display!

Assembled in minutes without tools and made from sustainably sourced, long-lasting engineered timbers.

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  • Customer need: "I need a place to store & display possessions that are an expression of my identity." The focus was to allow a user to curate their space, accommodating a wide array display items, books, records, figurines and mementos- while at the same time discreetly storing other less presentable possessions. The challenge was to create a blank canvas product to pair with any other item, with enough of it's own personality and character to stand out in market. All these needs had to be met within Koalas business model to offer easy, fast, tool-free assembly and 4-hour, single person delivery.

  • Through ethnographic research, we identified what most people want to display also what they want to hide. User scenarios span from crammers using every inch of storage space to minimalists with a few choice pieces. Size and proportion of the range was driven by common needs to deliver universal spacing. Looking to implement production within Australia, we developed the product with limited materials and processes to keep costs down. We then balanced production capability, design language and a logistic profile Vs assembly-ease balance. Through rapid iterative testing we achieved a simple assembly and thoughtful product experience, delivered to your door.

  • Commercially, these products have given Koala increasing authority within the living-room as the brand transitions from a 'bed In the box' or Sleep brand, into furniture and lifestyle brand. Sustainability took priority over Australian manufacture and sourcing a suitable lightweight, high-quality, PEFC certified timber took extensive research and coordination. Production was moved to Slovakia to partner with a supplier that could work with our volumes, labour standards and manage PEFC certified raw materials directly. Limited materials and processes means low wastage in production and simplifies downstream reclamation and disposal.

  • Our unique product development process to ensure high market attraction. live testing frequently through the development process using consumer panels and in-house user testing we unearth the core issues people are trying to find a solution for. Through rapid iteration and a robust feedback loop, we ensure their needs are met to a high standard ahead of putting any product into production