If watchwords for the 21st century were to be chosen at this point, two of them would definitely be Innovation and Information. Not since the Age of Enlightenment have there been so many man-made advances in such a short period of time. Add to that instant access to breaking news, the latest discoveries, along with educational information, all at the tips of our fingers, and what you have is the most informed and forward-thinking society in history.
One particularly interesting area of innovation since the turn of the century is furniture design. Practical, affordable, smart and environmentally-friendly furniture designs are quickly gaining in popularity. Ornate, cumbersome, impractical furniture is becoming blasé. The great part is that with this turn in furniture design, innovation has remained at the forefront. Creativity is the number one consideration of many designers…the more outlandish the better. However, on the whole, designers are creating furniture which offers consumers the ultimate egalitarian experience for their homes and offices without sacrificing eye-appeal, luxury and style.
Let’s take a tour of the spectrum, from outlandish to highly practical. Below you will find some of the most noteworthy furniture designs of the 21st Century from across the web. Take the time to enjoy, and join the celebration of the wonderful innovations the 21st century has ushered in.
This unusual chair, called the Stiletto Chair, was created by a team of faculty and students in Virginia Tech’s School of Architecture + Design. Virginia Tech represented the United States at the imm Cologne International Furniture Fair in Germany in January 2009.
The only university from the US invited to participate in this international event, Virginia Tech offered their exhibition as Industrialized Furniture. The students designed their pieces, including the Stiletto Chair, using emerging digital and technical processes, most of which were computer-controlled systems. Linking experimentation with design research, Virginia Tech has also participated in exhibitions such as the Solar Decathlon and the International Contemporary Furniture Fair.
Senior Citizen Recliner
Never has there been a better time to be a senior citizen. With altruism on the rise, furniture designers are beginning to jump on the elderly bandwagon, a movement that is long overdue. If we don’t take care of our elderly, who will? We are all going to be there eventually, after all. By taking care of our senior citizens we are taking care of ourselves. This recliner is designed by IOA Healthcare Furniture, an award-winning designer of furniture for the elderly and infirm. The recliner is just one of many great innovations in health care furniture design. Take a few minutes to check out the website of IOA. Be sure to read the “About Us” section. The story of their beginnings and history is truly fascinating.
This piece of cardboard furniture has to be my favorite find during the research for this article. As a longtime single parent and budget-conscious consumer, I have actually used cardboard in dire cases as an end table or nightstand. But the Hungarian company, Karton Art Design, a husband and wife team, she an artist, he a carpenter, have taken cardboard furniture to a whole other level. These forward-thinking folks created a system of constructing furniture using only cardboard and paper clips.
The system assures that the cardboard is as strong as wood but light as paper. These cardboard furniture designs, which also include shelves, chairs, and a hutch, have been exhibited at the Milan Furniture Fair to rave reviews. Can’t you just hear the Green Movement cheering with joy? What a great boon to the world of recycling! You will find images of the other cardboard furniture listed above, and also many other great innovations in furniture design by visiting the website of Inhabitat.Com.
This is a perfect example of the trend furniture design has taken toward comfort combined with practicality. This attractive seating couch covers all the bases. It is attractive. It is comfortable, affordable, and highly practical for today’s busy people. Created from fiberglass, wool felt and stainless steel, this modern seating combines the style of the traditional love seat with the beauty and comfort of a chaise lounge. Designed by Jon Goulder, this seating couch has five ergonomically-correct relaxed positions.
Recycled Bicycle Furniture
Here is another really neat piece of recycled furniture-an end table made from a bicycle. Andy Gregg, the creator of this highly innovative furniture and other pieces, such as bar stools and chairs, has a story as interesting as his furniture. One of the great things about the new trend in furniture design is stories such as these, of designers who have pushed the envelope. Using their brilliant creativity, designers like Andy Gregg have become successful entrepreneurs while helping our planet by using recycled materials. Visit Andy’s website at BikeFurniture.com
Next in our lineup of weird, wild or just plain wonderful furniture designs are some of the very cool and comfortable outdoor furniture designs found at The Decorating Diva. It was hard to decide which pieces were the most inviting so I added two of my favorites.Your friends will think they have died and gone to heaven when they come to your next outdoor party.
It has been proven throughout time that we are hardwired to admire the creations of our fellow man. We revere artists and writers. We regard The Arts with the greatest of esteem. So it is natural, when great innovations in furniture design, like these clever British designs made from toothpicks and sheet metal, along with a lamp made from plastic spoons, come across our field of vision, we are instantly filled with awe and admiration. These clever designs are the creation of three graduate students of the Royal Academy of Art in London. Be sure to check out the full blog post and images at Fast Company.
Yes, it is a definite fact that 21st Century furniture designs are the most advanced and sophisticated in the history of our world. But the biggest advances have been in bedroom furniture. Innovation is definitely the watchword when it comes to the bedroom in the 21st century. Comfort is the number one consideration, with style running a close second. Feast your eyes on some of the great designs offered at eRoomService.com. Gorgeous bedrooms that make you want to lay right down and soak up the ambiance.
If you are an urban professional, college student with their first apartment, or maybe a single bachelor or bachelorette, this all-in-one kitchen is the best thing since sliced bread! It’s beautiful, compact, and contains everything you need, including the kitchen sink. The site where this great compact kitchen is featured is called Dornob.com and it is absolutely one of the coolest sites you’ll run across if you love furniture and design. Take a trip there and see what’s ‘cookin.’
Furniture Designer Group on Facebook
Hopefully you have enjoyed this tour of some of the wildest, luxurious and most wonderful innovations in furniture design of the 21st century. Maybe you have even been inspired to check into a career in furniture design. To inspire you, read this great advice for future designers on Facebook.You might want to join the group even if you are just a voyeur. We all have that hidden designer inside of us. All it needs is unleashing.