Furniture Design Adapting to Technology

Steven Kurutz wrote a fascinating article for the New York Times in March on the need for furniture design to evolve in order to keep up with the ever-changing technology landscape.

We urge you all to read the article in its entirety, but we will highlight a few key points.

First, Kurutz talks about technology shrinking the physical world.  Thanks to digital storage space, many people are downsizing their STUFF onto their computer, iPads, and Kindles.  This effectively eliminates a lot of traditional furniture pieces, especially in the home office.  The “home entertainment center”, filing cabinets, bookcases, and even the traditional desk are on the verge of becoming obsolete.  This creates interesting challenges for the design community as they consider what kinds of furniture people are actually using in their homes and offices.

Another interesting point Kurutz brings up is the speed of technological changes, and how quickly the design world is forced to adapt.  It is difficult for designers to incorporate technology into designs when technology changes so quickly, thereby risking the furniture becoming useless.  Cord management is one area that designers feel safe to experiment with, and I think we can all agree that this is a necessity.  However, there is still a gap between how our gadgets and furniture mix together.

Check out some pieces below that have incorporated technology into the design.

Crate and Barrel Geneva L Sound System Pedestal.  A sound system built to look like a piece of furniture, and house your iPod.

Laptop desk and chair – all in one!

Victrola for iPad.  An old sound system is new again.

Nomad Table for iPad by Spell.  The table has a groove so you can pop your iPad upright.

CB2 Tucker Camo Laptop Table.  The top flips open so you can store your iPad or laptop.  The table is lightweight enough to move from couch to chair – so long traditional desks!

iCon bed by Hollandia with built in speakers.

What pieces of furniture have you replaced with technology?  Would you like to see your gadgets better incorporated into your furniture pieces?  Tell us your thoughts!


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