31.10. The living room is becoming a dead zone
Privacy-encouraging furniture is gaining popularity, as it provides complete isolation to the user in any room.
Seeing these new designs, it’s hard to believe that years ago, it was common that furniture in the living room was arranged for entertaining, for conversation, for “company.” It was once common for friends to drop by, even unannounced, and for you to spread some refreshments around while you sat on couches, facing each other, to shoot the breeze. Nowadays that sounds insane.
Today it’s rare to see a pair of sofas facing each other. Modern living rooms often feature a couch facing the flatscreen. We don’t go over each other’s houses to socialize much these days, opting instead to conduct our social lives on social media. And as open-plan offices and shared workspaces become common, there is a need or desire for furniture that delivers the comfort of a sofa with the privacy of a separate office.
Thus, we see designs like Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec’s Alcove seating, designed for Vitra:
The Privée line designed by Progetto CMR for Aresline:
The enclosed canopy is designed to give privacy and the feel of home comfort within the office environment.
The V1 Chair, by Ukranian design lab ODESD2, was highly appreciated by interior designers who work with public space.
The designs above are primarily form-follows-function, but Studio Makkink & Bey’s Ear Chair co-opts the form of the wingback chair: