What Is Flexible Furniture?
As our homes shrink and the lines blur between work and leisure space, flexible furniture has maintained a high level of excitement through the 21st century. But don’t be misled. Flexible furniture is far from new.
In ancient Greek, Roman, and Egyptian societies where wood was scarce, furniture was limited and served more than one purpose. The not-quite-a-chair not-quite-a-table ottoman can be dated back to the 13th century. Murphy Beds, aka The Cool Beds That Fold Down From The Wall, were patented circa 1900. Furniture has always been flexible at its core. It’s indicative in the many ways we interact with furniture and the wonderful instances in which we misuse it.
With the end of the Modern Movement came an increase in flexible seating to encourage flexibility and ergonomics in the population (think Niels Diffrient). Designers acknowledged the relationship between workers and the furniture in the workplace. Nowadays, ‘flexible furniture’ suggests more than an office chair with extreme lumbar support. It connotes standing desks, tangram sofas, and staircases with storage.
The ever-growing Tiny House Movement has created a rise of flexible furniture. As Americans downsize to a more European sized home -- 1000 square feet (93 m2) or less-- homeowners continue to get creative with their storage and surface solutions.
Just check out this 323 square foot micro-apartment in New York!