Joined-Up Thinking with Modular Furniture
Why modularity is the key to modern placemaking
The qualities offered by modularity in public furniture are increasingly in demand, especially with today’s unique challenges around social distancing and hygiene under Covid-19.
Some of the benefits of modular furniture are immediately obvious, to do with adaptability and agility of use. Some are long term, based on sustainability and the life cycle of a piece of furniture.
We also need to think about the ever-changing use of spaces in society, the movement of people around spaces, and the role of furniture in placemaking.
At Green Furniture Concept we know priorities are different for every context of public furniture and we work with you to help find the ideal solution for your particular needs as an architect or designer. Our easy-to-use furniture concept is a placemaking one: it respects the unique character and history of each place that we work with. We understand the extraordinary pressures on your public spaces during (and after) the pandemic and the need to be flexible and ready to respond quickly to change.
"With modularity, piece by piece, we can improve visitor experience and wellbeing." Johan Berhin, Founder and designer at Green Furniture Concept
With its ability to be configured in different ways, to be broken up and moved, or to be put together using spacers, modular furniture has a huge advantage over traditional public furniture for social distancing during a pandemic. And these safety considerations will remain relevant in any situation where visitor numbers or gatherings need to be controlled.
By using planters, panels or colour bands of ribs, space is created between seats. Parts are accessible for deep cleaning and extra ribs are included for instant repair to maintain hygiene.
A bit like Lego for architects, modular furniture offers endless possibilities. It can be built and put together in a variety of ways, adding or removing units at key points to change the form and/or function.
Demands on public spaces are evolving all the time and there’s an increasing trend for spaces to be multi-use, seasonally programmable and collaborative. Architects and interior designers have to be able to reconfigure furniture quickly and efficiently for different contexts — and of course it is more affordable than replacing the whole system.
Modular furniture can be used to shape the use of a space, to give it structure, purpose and a placemaking identity. By choosing one range of furniture and using it in different configurations across the space, we create a strong sense of character and cohesion. By grouping pieces together in contrasting ways, we can make suggestions for public engagement with spaces, sometimes bold and sometimes subtle; balancing meeting points for people to gather with quiet islands for people to rest.
By marking out space with modular seating and meeting arrangements, we can create routes for people to follow, a form of wayfinding through modularity. It means that we can easily regulate flow of traffic and floor space can be maximized and used more efficiently. During the pandemic, this is of course key for social distancing and safety.
Modular furniture can make an important contribution to biophilic design if it honours connection to nature in its materiality, seasonality and adaptability to the human body clock. Biophilic modular furniture can be reconfigured to suit the time of year, or even in some cases the time of day, keeping us connected to the rhythm of nature and enhancing wellbeing.
The use of wood in modular furniture makes it the ultimate biophilic component while helping to create organic shapes and lines that are gentle on the eye, less stressful and good for seamless movement.
Modularity presents us with enormous potential for sustainability. When pieces are made to a timeless design and easily repurposed over their lifetime, with worn or damaged units individually repairable or replaceable, companies can invest on environmental terms as well as economic ones. Saving on furniture costs is huge, as is the saving on waste for the planet.
Talk to us about your modularity concerns and your needs after Covid. We’re here to listen. Join the conversation here.
Try modularity in your own space and play around with our planning tool