Modular Modernity

June, 2014


CW INTERIORS takes a look at why modular furniture is so much in demand...
Over the last few years, furniture design has grown enormously in terms of design, utility, functionality and aesthetic appeal. Modular furniture for homes, offices, hotels, pubs, workstations and hospitals is getting increasingly popular due to many factors: it increases versatility, creates multi-use work environments and gives spaces a ´wow´ factor to suitably impress visitors!

In increasingly space-constrained offices, the space-saving features of modular furniture are much valued. For instance, Godrej Interio´s Optimizer, a high-density storage system, aims at overcoming the limitations of traditional storage systems with its intelligent design to provide maximum storage in minimum space. The Optimizer system has a sturdy construction and vibrant coloured tile body, which ensures that the office stays clutter-free even as it provides cost effective and voluminous storage.

Customised comfort
Modular office furniture also lends itself to easy maintenance, while the use of railings, nuts and bolts, and other metallic parts makes it user friendly. Contrary to the expectation that modular furniture must be boringly uniform, it is actually possible to have differentiation and customisation within the theme. Some makers of modular furniture offer special chairs for executives and directors; tables for varied purposes like receptions and conference rooms; sofas; cabinets and other office components.

Cubicles, partitions and compartments are required in workspaces, even in those that have predominantly ´open´ designs. Flexibility in creating, removing or re-configuring these spaces is easier if aluminium partitions are used, as these are strong, light-weight and can be easily assembled. IF - Foldable by Artmatrix (the in-house brand of Vector Projects, structured with an aluminum extrusion on a rigid aluminum die-cast base, is an ideal system that can be used in training rooms, meeting rooms or conference rooms.

Functionally Yours
Interestingly, even nature has provided inspiration for some modular designs. Godrej Interio´s Wish, for example, is a gapless honeycomb block partition system with linear panels. Slim and strong, it is a range of modular desk-based system with an extensive wire management system and easily accessible inner frame. Incidentally, today the trend is towards adopting panel-based systems since they take care of the cables and are easy to plan. But with advances in wireless technology, the desk based systems are also slated to become more popular.

Artmatrix taps into nature with their Xenic chairs, which take inspiration from the free flight of a colourful butterfly; Xenic, priced between Rs 10,000 and Rs 19,000, can make the user feel cocooned in his seat. Artmatrix also looks at human technology for design cues. I Beam, inspired by steel structures, is the latest addition to Artmatrix´s aluminum leg structures. The fully aluminum die-cast with chamfered groove highlights the structural strength of the leg structure.

Another major aspect working in favour of modular furniture is that it takes ergonomics seriously, using the science to make workplace activities more easy and healthy. The dimensions of Godrej Interio products, for example, are designed keeping in mind the ergonomic requirements of office work and the anthropometry of the Indian population. Various accessories like keyboard trays also help in maintaining correct posture during long work hours. Their chairs are designed specifically for Indian users incorporating various features like Bio-synchro tilt and lumbar support adjuster for helping the user maintain correct body posture. Their range, Reason, has seamless active overhead storage and mobile storage aids. Its simple stand and sit feature contributes to a great degree of control over how one works; the one-touch height adjustability feature provides the flexibility for impromptu meetings and discussions.

With so much working for it in terms of design, efficiency, flexibility, innovation and cost effectiveness, modular furniture is set to grow in importance and define our work spaces and homes in the near future.