Multifunctional design enables organisations to cope with continuous change, as discussed in our article exploring agile working. You may think that space saving and multipurpose furniture is a new concept, but it is not – a brief Google search found pioneering designs such as a piano that folded in to a bed can be dated back to 1885. The advances of technology mean that we expect more from our gadgets, our cars, our homes. Combine that with the instant gratification need of having everything immediately, and you notice that people are craving the swiss-army knife all in one approach to their furniture.
Here are three examples of innovative multifunctional furniture from across the world:
Japanese design student Shin Yamashita created an origami-like mat set called ‘Land Peel’ that is perfect for compact living. Carefully crafted to form a table, chair, leg rest or soft lounging area, it provides ample opportunities to create the environment you need, when you need it. Insulated and with padded support, the mat also offers a plug for a custom-fitted lamp that transforms in to a table leg when extended. The panels quickly provide comfortable space for studying, relaxing, eating or exercising, embracing an increasingly transient culture. As people move more often, tastes change and the ability to buy and sell has become ever easier thanks to Gumtree and Freecycle. Geci wanted to create a multipurpose line for modern day living that can be put in any room and reconfigured in an instant – a similar view was taken by Workagile’s creative team when designing Huddlebox
Ruetemple designed the Cube, a transformative and wheeled structure that provides one- or two-bedrom accommodation, three sofas, wall and under-bed shelving storage as well as distinct wall dividers. Inspired by Japanese architecture, Russian-born Ruetemple Studio always focus on flexible design that encourages multi-space usage. The Cube offers a minimalist aesthetic with maximum functionality, taking up only 33 square metres. When designing spaces, Ruetemple have focused on creating an openness that appears in both the furniture and architecture they construct.
Noon Studio have devised a build your own stool-table-shelf combo out of steel and Ash wood. Influenced by “traditional English craftsmanship and Provencal rawness”, each product has been designed and produced with the philosophy of using honest materials, simplicity of execution and a new approach on typologies. The designers claim that the precision of assembly allows the stool to hold its component perfectly tight in place. Whether it’s a coffee table, side table, singular stool, long bench, room divider or shelving unit, the stool provides endless options.
Considering it’s been estimated that there will be 11 billion people by 2100, space-saving solutions and multifunctional furniture will be a key design trend. As it evolves in the workplace, Workagile’s products are designed to evolve with it. More about our products can be found here or check out further design inspiration found in Jacada Travel’s earthy palette, or The White Company’s elegant and uncomplicated interiors in their new London headquarters.