Furniture as feature in coworking spaces. Spots in Oporto city as case study
PhD Design student, member of Research Unit ID+, Department of Communication and Art at
University of Aveiro, Portugal.
PhD, associate professor, member of Research Unit ID+, Department of Communication and Art at University of Aveiro and director of Design Factory Aveiro, Portugal.
PhD, professor, member of Research Unit ID+, Department of Communication and Art at University of Aveiro and director of the research group OIKOS- Design for Ecosystemic Spaces, Portugal
Etiquetas/Tags: Mirada sociológica, Forma – función, Documentación oral, Relación mueble – espacio
Globalization, technological progress and demographic changes are megatrends that have the potential to change the nature of work, affecting the quantity and quality of available jobs, such as the way they are carried out (OECD,Policy Responses to New Forms of Work, 2019; Giddens, Sociology (4th ed.),2001). The digital age came into our lives changing in a few decades everyday life and social behaviour, and forcing the society to rethink daily experiences, including the workplaces.
Nowadays, the availability of the digital devices enables the office to be anywhere: at home, at the café, in the library or even on travel as in trains, airplanes and airports. However, workers still seek workplaces that stimulate networking and collaboration potential. The digital nomadism that facilitates the mobility and the flexibility of work meets the requirements of today’s society and stimulates the emergence of coworking spaces.
The number of freelancers who seek these spaces to escape the isolation of work at home or in individual offices is increasing. Coworking enhances the possibility to cooperate with other users from different areas of studies and professions. Job’s market is changing, the number of entrepreneurs, start-ups and small businesses has been growing and consequently the demand for these coworking spaces. Millennials (generation Y) who grew up within the digital technologies are also responsible for the demand of coworking spaces as places that promote and balance a professional performance with, among other facilities, break, conviviality, well-being, creativity, flexibility and cooperation.
In the line of Lipovetsky (De la Légèreté, 2015), to keep up with contemporary nomadism, furniture design also needs to approach the new demands of current lifestyle. Within this context, this article intends to find out the role that furniture plays in such spaces. Therefore, a research is carried out by studying a random sample of coworking spaces in Oporto which is a city with remarkable examples in quantity and diversity of such spots. An interview and a survey will be applied to users to get information about the furniture’s common denominator in those places considering as main parameters the pairs ergonomic function / comfort, materials / sustainability and flexibility / form. The principal output of this study is to contribute to designers’ awareness of placing furniture as core issue when considering the quality of coworking spaces in its multifunctional capacities in a context of a responsible, ecologic and sustainable society.