Floor to Furniture
2015 VMODERN Furniture Design Competition
Indrit Alushani, Kostika Lala
We believe that in the near future there will be a greater demand for flexibility in space. As the value of land keeps increasing in an ever-growing capitalist market, the need for an adaptable multi-use space rises with it. The reason why a home furnishing store such as IKEA is so successful, is that it appeals to the masses for its functionality and feasibility. The issue however remains that a furniture is a piece of a given material that takes up space and as a result limiting the overall functionality of a room. If let’s say, one decides to completely change the use of the room (from a study room to a lounge or small gathering area) one needs to purchase other furniture that would fulfill other types of functions. This would then mean that more space is required to store existing furniture, valuable space that could be otherwise used for a different program.
Floor to Furniture eliminates that problem by using an integrated system of panels that make up the floor pattern of a traditional hardwood floor. By employing a series of highly resistant and durable carbon fiber joints, levers and tracks the floor panels can elevate to a height of 700mm which is equivalent to the height of a traditional desk. Moreover the system is motorized which can be controlled from a main unit where the location for where the panels to be raised are indicated as well as the height and any angle adjustments (mainly for seating purposes). The system is also adapted for manual users if they wish to make their own adjustments to each individual panel. The main tracks that guide the motorized wheels contain 9 different places for stoppers in order to accommodate the varying heights of flat planes. For example the height of a traditional bed is typically 500mm, therefore the levers would reach the fifth stopper to adjust.
Another element in furniture consideration is level of softness/hardness with respect to the material used. The Floor to Furniture system integrates an amalgamation of the following materials: Carbon-aerogel, Metal-aerogel, and Silica- aerogel.
The initial state of the panels is that of metal and silica in order to accommodate the hardness of a traditional floor. However, the system is able to adjust the percentage of ‘softness’ of the aerogel by decreasing the density in the material. For example for a user that needs to raise a bed and does not wish to use any bedding material whatsoever, he/she can choose a 95% softness in the central control system in order to reduce the density of the aerogel and make it extremely soft for comfort. Additionally, if the user chooses to raise a table plane from the floor, the user can choose the maximal height of the modules and keep the panels at the same state as the initial state as far as ‘hardness’ goes. We strongly believe that this system would eliminate the use of most traditional furniture in spaces that need to be highly flexible. Spaces such as student dormitories or student housing, small venues that host various programs and so forth.