From tech furniture to end of storage, IKEA’s Marcus Engman talks about what your apartment of the future will look like
Marcus Engman plays an important role in the world’s furniture market. As head of design at Ikea Sweden, the world’s largest company in the industry, Engman’s job is to oversee the design of new furniture and home appliances that end up in the hands of millions of customers each year. Marcus claims that there will be smart apartments in lahore smart city , which will be beyond expectation.
Engman has listed what he believes are the 7 biggest trends for the apartment of the future, including furniture, it’s packaging, to the weird fabrics people will want to start touching to make up for a world full of glass screens.
1. The fluid apartment
Traditionally, when people imagined themselves in their apartments, they thought almost mathematically. A sofa + a television = the living room. A bed + a set of drawers = a bedroom. But in a world of constant urbanization, where more people are living in smaller spaces (by 2017, the World Health Organization predicts most people will live in urban areas), which soon makes one bedroom a living room and another bedroom a bedroom, making everything more fluid.
The furniture will have to evolve to keep pace. Take the sofa example, says Engman. In the past, a sofa was the most important piece of furniture in the living room, and consequently in the apartment of the future. But that is already changing. The sofa is no longer just for socializing: people eat on their sofa and, in small apartments, they can even use it as a bed.
“We’re already seeing a lot more people buying sofa beds instead of sofas,” says Engman. “That’s fluid apartment thinking.” And Engman hopes the trend will continue, predicting that the table, not the sofa, will soon become the most important furniture in most people’s homes: a multipurpose piece of furniture you can work, eat, play, and socialize.
2. Furniture that does more
In a rapidly urbanizing world, people will have to make do with smaller and less mobile spaces. As a result, says Engman, the furniture in an apartment of the future will become more versatile. “It’s possible that very soon, a bank could be one of the most important pieces of furniture in your apartment because it can do many things besides being a bank,” he says. “You can use it as a bedside table, a chair, a table and you can even store things on top or under it when it’s not in use.”
3. The end of storage
The history of the house is synonymous with the history of storage. You have cabinets, cabinets, shelves, CD shelves, and more. But that will all change. “There’s a lot less to store,” says Engman. People don’t have storage space in an urbanized world. And many of the things we store, like music, movies, and books, are now almost exclusively in the cloud.
People will always want to have physical objects as a way to show who they are, says Engman. “People want to show their collections, not hide them,” he says, so storage methods will have to evolve to keep up. Think more open shelves and glass cabinets that allow you to showcase your collection rather than chests and drawers.
4. Technological furniture
Recently, Ikea announced a line of new light bulbs that can charge your gadgets wirelessly. This is just the first step that shows how Ikea sees furniture of the future. The Swedish furniture maker believes that furniture could one day be as synonymous with technology as home appliances are.
This is not to say that Ikea wants to become a device manufacturer. “Our mission is not to sell electronics, but to figure out how to make life at home smarter and easier,” says Engman. One day, people could be as excited and curious to download an update that adds new features to their smart mobiles as they are to download the latest version of an app on their mobile, he says.
5. Flat Design for furniture packaging
Ikea is synonymous with Flat Design packaged furniture, but Engman says, “We’re always looking to pack things flatter.”
Over the next five years, Ikea and its competitors are expected to discover ways to pack furniture flatter than ever, because they make products cheaper due to reduced shipping costs.
It is essential that your furniture is an expression of your personality. But custom furniture is expensive and takes time to create. Engman says the next big frontier in furniture design is creating personalization on a mass industrialized scale. For example, when Ikea makes ceramic slabs, about 20% are rejected because of some slight variation in shape. “So what if we take that 20%, and instead of saying they are mass production failures, we say they are successful items in their uniqueness?” Engman asks.
Engman admits that customizing home furnishings with mass production is a big challenge and in up to 5 or 10 years it won’t be possible. “But personally I think this is one of the most interesting and promising areas to explore,” says Engman.
7. Crazy fabrications, strange sensations
“People spend most of their time touching screens,” says Engman. It’s boring and not what people want. According to Engman, the apartment of the future is tactile, full of strange fabrics and materials that have been customized as a contrast to the smartphone and tablet screens that spend most of our days in our hands.