Furniture is so often imagined, photographed and described as individual objects to be experienced in isolation. In reality, it plays a vital role in shaping space and the behaviours, atmosphere and experience of those who use it.
As with the stage in a theatre, architecture and interior spaces are left unfinished until activated by people and defined by zones, settings and areas set aside for a particular purpose. Understanding the part furniture and product plays in this process is central to our practice.
At home, pre-defined spaces reflect functions – eating, sleeping, relaxing, washing – that have served the domestic needs of family life for generations. Once outside our homes, environments are shared, and public and private needs and motivations of friends and strangers alike coincide. In these environments; transport, workplace, hospitality, healthcare, streetscape, design must cater for the shared experience as much as that of the individual.
Space in these contexts becomes a complex functional environment, where furniture and architecture merge and diverse functions are layered one over the other; public and private, work, rest and play.
The ergonomics of these spaces provide opportunities to enhance the experience of those who use them. Ergonomics in this case are both physical, how the body behaves and responds to the space, but also behavioural, how we can affect the of an individual or group in that space. Within what we describe as ‘intelligent space’, we seek to unlock new behaviours, enhance existing ones, and design space around the needs of users rather than pre-existing norms
Space is a physical and tactile entity that demands an equally physical and tactile response. We spend much of our time making and testing space at full size and in the simplest forms with the simplest materials, in order to reflect and adjust until we find resolution. The act of making allows us to discover in ways impossible within the digital world.