'Dematerialized' Furniture for the Digital Age

Design experts say the furniture of the digital age will be dematerialized, meaning a minimalism no longer imposed by style alone but by the material necessities of digital devices. 

What's the Latest Development?


As technology has remade our lives, furniture has not kept up with the times. The minimalist style, which has become so integrated into our culture that it ceases to be a style, still seems to count as modern furniture. So today's designers are working to integrate a new aesthetic that follows from how we actually use our furniture today. Sitting on the couch and watching TV, for example, is ergonomically different from sitting on the couch and typing on a tablet computer. One example is Cappellini’s Capo Chair which has wide arm rests that are better suited for typing than lounging. 

What's the Big Idea?

While some large producers like Ikea are hesitant to roll out bold designs to accommodate here-today-gone-tomorrow technology, others realize the trend is irreversible. "What's interesting, from a design standpoint," says industrial engineer and interior designer Harry Allen, "is that the computer gets rid of so many things. You don't need clocks because they're on our phone. You don't need file cabinets because they're on our phone. A lot of things that used to take up room, like records and books, you don't need." Allen says that, bit by bit, the physical world is disappearing. 

Photo credit: shutterstock.com


Related Articles

How schizophrenia is linked to common personality type

Both schizophrenics and people with a common personality type share similar brain patterns.

(shutterstock)
Mind & Brain
  • A new study shows that people with a common personality type share brain activity with patients diagnosed with schizophrenia.
  • The study gives insight into how the brain activity associated with mental illnesses relates to brain activity in healthy individuals.
  • This finding not only improves our understanding of how the brain works but may one day be applied to treatments.
Keep reading Show less

Human skeletal stem cells isolated in breakthrough discovery

It's a development that could one day lead to much better treatments for osteoporosis, joint damage, and bone fractures.

Image: Nissim Benvenisty
Surprising Science
  • Scientists have isolated skeletal stem cells in adult and fetal bones for the first time.
  • These cells could one day help treat damaged bone and cartilage.
  • The team was able to grow skeletal stem cells from cells found within liposuctioned fat.
Keep reading Show less

How exercise helps your gut bacteria

Gut bacteria play an important role in how you feel and think and how well your body fights off disease. New research shows that exercise can give your gut bacteria a boost.

National Institutes of Health
Surprising Science
  • Two studies from the University of Illinois show that gut bacteria can be changed by exercise alone.
  • Our understanding of how gut bacteria impacts our overall health is an emerging field, and this research sheds light on the many different ways exercise affects your body.
  • Exercising to improve your gut bacteria will prevent diseases and encourage brain health.
Keep reading Show less