Customisable Shelves by Formbar


WORDS Michaela Stehr PHOTOS Supplied

Good news for fans of fabulous storage: Formbar’s customisable shelving units – which can be designed to fit even the most obscure spaces – are now available in South Africa.

Founded as a university start-up called Okinlab, Formbar’s parametrically designed furniture and shelving pieces have been brought to South Africa by local entrepreneur Matthew Swart. “The freedom of customising your own furniture allows you to be more creative than usual,” says Matthew. “There is something deeply pleasing about surrounding yourself with pieces that are perfectly fitted to your purpose.”

With a focus on organic and ergonomic shapes, each Formbar piece is designed to fit the particular dimensions and requirements of a client’s home, office or hospitality or retail space, providing a functional solution for storage and presentation. Suitable for any space, whether it features pitched roofs or circular walls, Formbar products are made using CNC machines and slot into place with 0.1mm accuracy.


A digitally driven process allows the customer to choose the size, layers, doors, number of shelves and colours through intelligent software that creates a blueprint for each new design, making it unique.This all begins with the online “self shaper”, which gives clients insight into and control over the creative process, and allows them to play around with varying looks and feels until they find the right solution. Following this process, the design is submitted online, after which components are cut to size, flat-packed and sent for home assembly.

Formbar’s ability to serve both small and large spaces, and meet needs that range from decluttering a home to creating large display units, means it is a genuinely versatile option for building a calming, organised aesthetic.