Shaping the Future of Design | Office Specialty

Shaping the Future of Design

Nov 18, 2019

When we imagine the concept cars, furniture and buildings of the future, generally we think in curving, flowing, organic forms. It seems, that if the current functional constraints of construction and manufacturing were thrown out the window, we would always choose organic and biomorphic forms over sharp edges and 90˚ angles.

90˚ angles are virtually nonexistent in nature. When repeating geometry is found in the natural world, it is often following the “Golden Ratio” or “Fibonacci Sequence”. “The number of petals on a flower, for instance, will often be a Fibonacci number. The seeds of sunflowers and pine cones twist in opposing spirals of Fibonacci numbers. Even the sides of an unpeeled banana will usually be a Fibonacci number.”5

Beyond Fibonacci, numerous studies1234 have shown that whether it’s in furniture or architecture, curved, organic forms are found to be psychologically pleasing with significant benefits (e.g. “feeling relaxed, peaceful, and calm”).1 One study found that participants were more likely to "judge spaces as beautiful if they had curvilinear than rectilinear contours.”2

Historically, our workspaces have been mostly made up of rectilinear workstations and storage. In the future, we need to find more ways to break the mold and incorporate visual elements with natural, radiused forms.

At Office Specialty, we have begun to incorporate soft, radius curves and untraditional angles into our 9900 storage line with Nuform fronts. The response has been overwhelmingly positive. Not only do the radiused shapes have a more modern and progressive appearance, but they also convey a light whimsical feeling to a traditionally conservative piece of furniture.

When you combine the 9900 cabinet with a wood or stone finish, it becomes a positive, biophilic element adding much needed warmth and tranquility to our busy office environments.

In summary, it has already been well established that biophilic elements can significantly improve employee productivity, perceived well-being and creativity. Radiused corners and wood elements on storage fronts, are not going to create a comprehensive biophilic environment on their own, but they can be part of a larger strategy focused on enhancing the human experience of their workspace. The future is here today.

  1. Furniture Forms and Their Influence on Our Emotional Responses Toward Interior Environments
  2. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0013916511402063
  3. Impact of contour on aesthetic judgments and approach-avoidance decisions in architecture OshinVartaniana,1, Gorka Navarreteb,c, Anjan Chatterjeed, Lars BrorsonFiche, Helmut Lederf, Cristián Modroñog, Marcos Nadalf, Nicolai Rostruph, and Martin Skovi,j
  4. https://www.pnas.org/content/pnas/110/Supplement_2/10446.full.pdf
  5. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0028393207001042
  6. https://www.terrapinbrightgreen.com/reports/14-patterns/#biomorphic-forms-and-patterns
  7. The number of petals on a flower, for instance, will often be a Fibonacci number. The seeds of sunflowers and pine cones twist in opposing spirals of Fibonacci numbers. Even the sides of an unpeeled banana will usually be a Fibonacci number—and the number of ridges on a peeled banana will usually be a larger Fibonacci number.
  8. https://originalbeauty.wordpress.com/2009/06/27/spirals-in-nature/
David-Gerson

David Gerson

Chief Brand Officer, Office Specialty