A History Of Office Furniture Design

When we talk about office furniture, we refer to office chairs, tables, desks, and many more. Office furniture is different from the furniture you use at home.

Office furniture design ensures that all the tables, chairs, desks, and other furniture are not only stylish but also functional. Creating a smart office begins with identifying the most suitable office furniture design. The design keeps employees productive, creative, and healthy.

However, a lot has changed about office furniture designs. Most offices/business owners are trying to pace up with the latest trends in office furniture design.  If you are that trendy, you can have a look at the top office designs in Jupiter.

But even as you embrace the latest office designs, it is good to understand the origin of office furniture design. This is why we decided to give you a trip back to history. Let’s talk about the history of office furniture design.

Where Did Office Furniture Design Originate From?

In ancient times, there was nothing special about an office. An office was just an ordinary room in a building to accommodate workers. The office furniture was pathetic, leave alone the design.

But as time went by, various office designers started emerging. People started realizing the need to make an office a better place. The importance of office furniture design started running in the minds of many.

In 1989,  Henry Van de Velde’s invented a dynamic carving art Nouveau desk, which is still an iconic office furniture design to date. This was before the Tayloristic approach took effect after the introduction of office accessories, including typewriters and telephones that required more office space.

It was until the 1990s that the idea of office furniture design started sinking in the minds of people. Frederick Taylor, an American engineer, was one of the first persons to design something that could be called an office.

In his office design, Taylor had one idea in mind, to maximize productivity. His office layout saw workers sit together in long rows of desks. At this time, there was nothing like conform and style in office furniture design. The office space was minimal and occupied very many people; the design was like that of a production line.

The emergence of the skyscraper brought some changes in office design and office furniture design. The Skyscraper was designed to host various companies under a single building, and this is where office furniture design got some life. The role of receptionists, typists, and administration personnel became visible. This brought about the demand for improved office furniture design.

Both the open plan and private offices needed some unique, stylistic and beautiful office furniture. There was enough space to accommodate office accessories like typewriters and office furniture. Comfort became a major concern in the office.

In the early 1930s, Marcel Breuer developed a tubular steel desk. This office furniture design brought some comfort and functionality to office spaces.

However, the real change in office furniture design started in 1940. George Nelson was one of the pioneers of office furniture design, and he even launched a home office desk in 1947, which was considered the first modern office furniture design.

More designers contiued to emeger posts war, the likes of Eames, Eero Saarinen and Knoll. People started realizing the need for comfortable and functional chairs, which gave birth to the Eames Lounge chair launched in 1957, and Rose Wood swivel chair.

The modern office furniture designs

A lot has changed. Office furniture design is not what we used to see in the past. Herman Miller revolutionalized office furniture design after launching an innovatory Aeron chair.

A lot of focus was shifted to the reception area in a move to give visitors a good first impression and the best experience. And this is where the Vitra Eames chairs and the Knoll Barcelona chairs became common.

From what we see, the future of office furniture design is bright. We’ve seen many products being introduced like the sit-stand desks and technology embedded office furniture. Office furniture design has a greater role in employee creativity, innovativeness, and health.

Most employers are concerned with creating the best working environment for the employees, which means investing in modern office furniture designs. Besides, sustainability is a key issue in office furniture design.

Leave a Comment