Rising housing costs and huge leaps in culture are making an impact on how we live, that is no secret. New ways of living are emerging in the bigger cities to adapt to these changes, co-living and short-term rentals are just two of these phenomena that some may think are just trends, but a recent rise in these markets point to something more than a current.
Trends or not, these changes in housing are here and they bring shifts and innovation in planning, designing, style and manufacturing of everything that revolves around them.
"The popularity of Pinterest and Instagram has reduced interiors, furniture, and products into two-dimensional aesthetically pleasing images, causing the disciplines to be perceived as banal and purely decorative, I simply don’t agree with this. Interiors, especially the domestic kind, are a reflection of economic, political, and sociological structural changes that society undergoes.” Seray Ozdemir on an interview for Architectural Digest.
Ozdemir is just one example of a new wave of design students that think that interiors are still areas of experimentation and invention, not only decoration. She designed Corridor Society, a collection that tackles one of the next generation’s biggest concerns: the lack of space. The general idea of this furniture is to take advantage of spaces that most people wouldn’t use before, like corridors and corners.
Spreading Hub, from Corridor Society by Ozdemir
Yu Li explores the changing status of rooms with a project designed for people in shared accommodation with limited access to kitchen space: a seven-in-one set that contains a cutting board, an induction hob, a pot and pan, a wrap for utensils and cutlery, and a dish rack, all in a portable box set.
Assembly, by Yu Li
Jinho Han innovates with his wall mounted mini refrigerator for living rooms or bedrooms for people who just don't consume food at the kitchen table anymore.
Refrigerator Shelf, by Jinho Han
Sustainability is also a key concern in the new waves of design, it’s not just about the materials and manufacturing methods, it’s also about the way these products are shipped around the world. Jade Chan and Christian Hammer Juhl tackle this issue with furniture that can be easily transported and saves 90% of the space that would be used with other materials because it's foam can be compressed under vacuum. This also helps in the nomadic lifestyle of the new world citizen.
10:1 by Christian Hammer Juhl and Jade Chan
The future may look grim for some of us: housing crises, climate change and economic recessions. But a new generation is facing the problem head-on with innovative ideas, especially designed to address these issues.
When you think about it, furniture hasn’t changed much for centuries, just adapting to new fashion trends. But the breaking point seems to be very close, if not here and now. The line between “tech” and “furniture” gets blurrier by the day, to a point where it could just become one, a new breed of furniture designed to be smart, optimized and more useful. Luxury and decoration, just for the looks, is a thing of the past: homes need to adapt to our contemporary needs and look for furniture that is sustainable, adaptable and long lasting.
LED bulbs, lightning panels and doors operated via remote control, tables that automatically charge electronic devices that are placed over them, these are just a couple examples of how tech is taking over furniture, spaces and housing in general. Soon, you may even be able to personalize and customize your furniture needs through holographic and haptic technology. Through it, you could visualize furniture in your own space, change its colors and fabrics, even feel it with haptic gloves that could simulate its textures via electric signals.
Haptic Gloves by NeuroDigital Technologies for "Touching Masterpieces"
Recent advances in 3-D printing also hint to a near future where personalization will become the norm. Many architecture and design studios are leaning towards this technology as a sustainable source for furniture and interior design.
Peeler Stool by Daniel Wildrig 3D printed for Nagami Collection
Through Vivible, personalization and customization is already happening. We don’t only filter furniture that we know is sustainable, durable and optimized for the new living space, we are also creating and designing furniture that fits the specific needs of our co-living and various other shared living clients. The idea is to inspire spaces by making them unique while tackling the frontiers of a new living reality.
Sustainable, smart, customized, space-optimized and multifunctional seem to be the keywords that best describe the future of furniture, and that future may already be here.