Designing for technology: Supporting the new postures

We’re all familiar with crossover vehicles—those cars that combine features of an SUV and a passenger car to offer a best-of-both-worlds experience.

Crossover furniture is a less familiar term, but its meaning is easy to grasp. These are the pieces that blend the best features of residential furniture and office furniture. They reflect the rise of the resimercial design trend, which is tied to the mobility that’s part of life for today’s workers.

Changing postures

Office workers are no longer tied to their workstations; thanks to mobile technologies, employees are increasingly nomadic. With this change in where and how people work comes a shift in how people sit when they work—a shift in work postures. Before we had mobile technologies, none of these scenarios existed:

  • Between meetings, a project manager grabs a seat in a lounge. Propping up her feet and bending her knees, she reviews documents on her tablet.
  • Lingering after the next meeting, she moves to a side chair, leans an elbow on the armrest, crosses her legs and checks her phone.
  • Later, in a café, she pulls out her laptop, works awhile, then leans back to stare at the screen and think about the problem at hand.

These examples illustrate three of the nine postures Steelcase researchers identified as having emerged from office workers’ use of mobile technologies. These postures are, on the whole, more relaxed than an upright position associated with sitting at a desk.

Three inches lower than conventional conference furniture, our SW_1 Lounge Seating and the SW_1 Low Conference Table were designed for more relaxed postures. Here the collection is shown in use at Scape in Amsterdam.

Changing needs

Relaxed postures aren’t necessarily bad for the body, as long as there’s proper ergonomic support—something often missing from residential lounge furniture. Coalesse furniture provides the best of both: the beauty of residential furniture and the ergonomics, lasting quality and tech-savvy design of commercial office furniture.

Products like our Massaud Conference Seating, SW_1 Collection, Hosu Lounge Seating and Free Stand portable worksurface are made for the new ways of working—including the new postures—that mobile technologies have ushered in.

You can explore all of our crossover furniture options and see them in context by visiting our Inspiration Gallery or viewing our Pinterest boards.

The Free Stand portable worksurface is foldable and height adjustable. Here it’s paired with our Lagunitas Lounge System with articulating back cushion, which lets users toggle between forward- and backward-leaning postures.

Great for lounges and enclaves, our supportive Hosu Lounge Seating is available with or without the convertible chaise foldout.

Published On: January 11, 2019
Filed under: Design Inspiration

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