Extendable dining table by Peter Deij
It’s a hard life
Life can be hard enough sometimes. But wouldn’t it be harder if we didn’t have furniture?
For more than half a century, there have been claims that in the future people will need less furniture because they will live in smaller homes. Isn’t this just wishful thinking? As the reality actually seems to be that modern architects are bent on creating buildings with huge volumes. And new build homes often appear to put maximum content above everything else.
But humour me if you will to explore this dalliance for more compact dwellings. Perhaps this has been propelled by a fascination with space craft and space stations. A compact residence actually needs so much fitted furniture to be able to be functional (like caravans but not on wheels) that they rather contradict the idea of needing less. No one wants to live in an empty box; isn’t that what prisons have always been modelled on? Discomfort.
The problem with compact homes (and so why they are basically doomed, although they do look fun) is that for them to work effectively they need to be made to measure. Everything the right height for the resident and offering them the facilities they need. When you consider most people do not go to the expense and inconvenience of having clothes tailor-made why would they have a house so constructed? And let’s not forget, the value of properties is still governed by location. Compact customised houses would certainly disrupt that market.
Our past determines our future
As architects and engineers continue to push the boundaries of material technologies building bigger and better homes, we are going to have to match them at each step of their journey and create purposeful, beautiful furniture that lends comfort to these places to transform them into homes. If we don’t, we could end up living in prison-like environments of our own. So don’t believe the predictions about a bare and empty future. We have spent thousands of years selecting the things that make our homes nice to live in. Why should we not need them tomorrow?
Life can be hard enough sometimes. I am not going to make it any harder, are you?