Modular design and multi-functionality in focus ndion –

What will the living space of the future look like? Have previous housing concepts become obsolete? The last few years alone have shown how much the living and working areas merge. Clear boundaries blur, living spaces become multifunctionalnow We present examples of modular design.

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Regardless of whether it is an office, family meeting place or retreat, the residential architecture of the future must meet the increasing demands for hybrid lifestyles. And so these modern lifestyles pose new challenges for architects, planners and designers. The focus is on modular furniture and multifunctional design solutions because they are flexible, mobile and adapt to individual needs. The upcoming designers of the “ein&zwanzig” newcomers competition deal with this topic. With their innovative products, they show what tomorrow’s modularity can look like. The seating and office furniture, systems, lighting, everyday objects and textile designs are user-friendly, multifunctional and can be reduced, enlarged or adapted according to use. Thanks to this flexibility, they have proven to be extremely sustainable, because they follow their users in almost every phase of life and move into their own four walls in the long term.

Felix Landwehr from Potsdam University of Applied Sciences “celery” presented an intelligent tool for modular furniture at this year’s “ein&zwanzig” Newcomer Award and received the special “Best of Best” award for it. The node-based connection system makes it possible to put modular furniture parts together easily and without tools. Shelves, stools or wall boxes can be designed for individual home elements. Each module element consists of only one material, which can therefore be recycled and fed back into the raw material cycle. Users can implement their own ideas inexpensively with only one connecting element and conventional round material from the hardware store or from recycled materials. Thanks to the innovative connection, the elements can be freely placed on the round material. Thanks to this maximum flexibility and changeability of the system, it can be used in private interiors as well as in office or retail areas.

Apio, © Felix Landwehr

The furniture elements from also offer new furnishing flexibility Justus Aid House: “Caparica” functions as ‘stand alone furniture’ that gives the eye a fixed point in an open living environment. The furniture can be expanded as needed: A shelf can become a complex shelving system that can be used in a wide range of scenarios. Whether it is a classic bookcase, sideboard or work surface, “Caparica” ​​adapts to the individual needs of the residents.

Caparacia, © Justus assisted living facility

Toys and furniture for children are often only used for a few years. Although their design has now adapted to modern, reduced interiors, they are discarded when they are no longer used. Teresa Egger combines play furniture with a coffee table, which makes daily use attractive for young and old. The hybrid piece of furniture “Ludo – a hybrid piece of furniture” customizable with a flick of the wrist, giving parents and their offspring a new opportunity for interaction every time. Ludo must make the separation of play and workplace fluid. Made from sustainable molded plywood in just one pressing process, the piece of furniture can also be used as storage space or a mini desk and is an all-rounder. It fits perfectly into the open interior, which follows an uncomplicated, transverse design trend without strict room separation.

Ludo – a hybrid piece of furniture, © Theresa Egger
Ludo – a hybrid piece of furniture, © Theresa Egger
Linen side table, © Ziyi Gong and Jingyi Yu

Ziyi Gong and Jingyi Yu from China include all roommates in their designs, including the four-legged friends. The side table “flax” is a two-story design solution: table top above, cat bed below with replaceable cat mat and embedded bells. Maybe a dog wants to sit there and keep mum or dad company while you work?

“Volta” by Marie Radke also deals with everyday (work) situations. Within one tool, it combines three optically coordinated objects, including multiple connectors, extension cables for clamping and multi-function lamps, bringing electricity within reach for a simplified workflow.

Volta, © Marie Radke

The innovative solutions make it clear that the furniture of the future (must) meet aesthetic, multifunctional and sustainable requirements in equal measure. Modularity enables new freedoms when you design your own four walls and meet individual needs more than ever. Flexible room dividers, with which a new room concept can be easily implemented, are also part of the basic modular equipment. “Gerda”the flexible acoustic panel from Christine Lieb, is made of thermoformable PET fleece. The innovative panel ensures sound absorption, it can temporarily create a workspace and be used as a neutral background during video conferences. “Gerda” is extremely user-friendly, can be easily rolled up and stored away.

Gerda, © Kristin Lieb

The modular principle with its almost endless possibilities applies both indoors and outdoors. The areas merge more and more smoothly, so that the new generation of outdoor furniture meets the climatic requirements for the outdoor area and also meets the aesthetic requirements for ‘in house’ use. “Working where it is most beautiful” can be done according to this principle “Freiraum” by Milan Stein Simply roll to any desired location as a workstation on wheels. The frame is an alternative to the rigid office space and has a positive effect on motivation and health. With a modular design, it can be expanded to save space.

John Choedesign graduate from Kunsthochschule Kassel, has “Active Desk” developed a desk that does justice to almost any work situation – mobile, hybrid, digital. It can be installed flexibly anywhere, also outdoors. Trend researcher Oona Horx-Strathern also tackled the subject of modularity in the current Home Report and identified it as an important current trend in interior design. In times when living and working situations change rapidly, the furniture should also be modifiable and do justice to the trend towards modular systems. Oona Horx-Strathern sees the trend not only in interiors, modularity also affects the construction industry and has the potential to revolutionize the way we live and work.

Active Desk, © Johannes Choe
Active Desk, © Johannes Choe

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