Rapid Packing Container: Students Reinvent Cardboard Box

Faster, leaner and just plain better, this ingenious resign reduces wasted cardboard, eliminates excess tape and is also more convenient to build, open and store than traditional shipping boxes.


Fully reversible for easy reuse, this patent-pending creation is the product of two Cooper Union student collaborators, Henry Wang and Chris Curro, undergraduates in the Albert Nerken School of Engineering.


The Rapid Packing Container deftly address a long series of shortcomings, showing that even something so taken for granted as the cardboard box can benefit from serious improvement.

rapid easy folding box

Instead of pulling the unfolded box from a shelf then manually taping together various sides and flaps, shippers can simply press the flattened version of the RPC into a box that folds it for them. After removing a single strip of paper, a minimal amount of exposed adhesive does the rest. Instead of unnecessarily overlapping layers of cardboard, or using tape to support weight, the built-in corrugation and interlocking folds provide for essential structural needs all while using less material.

rapid assembly cardboard box

The end-user experience is also refreshingly clean and simple – instead of cutting through copious amounts of tape, recipients can push a tab to open the box and watch it unfold in front of them. If there is branding or shipping data on the exterior, that set of exposed sides can be flipped, folded and bent back into the hidden interior. Of course, only time and rigorous testing will tell whether this radical reinvention can disrupt entrenched industrial design standards.