What will the workplaces of the future look like? Office furniture is certainly very different now from what was available half a century ago. The trends we have seen over the last half century or so give some clues to the changes we may continue to see in modern office furniture. San Diego employers have gone from using mainly solid wood and metal furniture to advanced composite materials. Recently, there has been a resurgence of interest in solid wood components – but with an emphasis on sustainable forestry. The use of composites is definitely here to stay, but we can expect to see more reliance on recycled materials and less on raw petroleum byproducts.
What about the look and feel of the office furniture of the future? Designs have shifted from streamlined to ornate and back again with regularity over the last few decades, but right now the focus is pretty evenly split between form and function. As ergonomics plays a more and more important role in employer purchasing decisions, manufacturers will continue to diverge from the old way of doing things. They are already coming up with wholly innovative designs that mold office furniture to the needs of the human body and the individual employee. Check out Herman Miller’s Envelop desk for an example of the kind of research that is going into modern office furniture design.