What does modern furniture look like to you? Do you think of innovative materials, minimalist or artistic design or sleek surfaces? Furniture technology is rapidly evolving to accommodate our busy lifestyles and the electronics we work with. New designs can:
- Make it easier to use technology
- Minimize risk to sensitive devices
- Reduce distractions
- Enhance ergonomics to reduce strain on workers’ bodies
- Make work spaces look less cluttered and more streamlined
Think about what an office desk might have looked like 20 years ago. Every desk needed plenty of storage space for office supplies, paper files and computer discs, in addition to expansive work spaces that provided room for desktop computers, in-boxes, and other work accessories.
Today, we’re living in an increasingly paperless world, and furniture technology is coming to reflect that in the classroom and office. Many offices have cut paper use dramatically, if not eliminated it altogether. This makes lining every desk with as many drawers as possible irrelevant and old-fashioned.
Instead, modern furniture technology works to incorporate and protect essential electronics and devices. It’s no longer enough to think of those electronics as objects to put on a surface. The furniture itself must accommodate them, while providing ergonomic work spaces.
For instance, take NOVA Solutions’ Trolley E-Class system, which can be incorporated into classroom furniture to protect monitors below the desks' surfaces when they are not in use, and helps prevent students from becoming distracted by email or social media during lectures.
“Downview” desks keep the monitor constantly protected beneath a tinted desktop panel. This allows the user to sit in an ergonomic position, and creates an expansive work space.
Like all designers, furniture designers of yesteryear did their best to anticipate technological developments, building furniture that would remain relevant for a long time. They largely succeeded. But these days, technology moves so swiftly, it’s virtually impossible to predict how the furniture of the future will have to function. If you keep pace with the latest developments in furniture technology, and in your field, you can make choices that will remain relevant and provide benefits for many years.