Inbuilt furniture at Enfield Shaker village, New Hampshire
original photo by Walter Parenteau
Back to moving.
More and more I find the idea of carrying furniture around close to insane.
If you strip down pieces of furniture to absolutely vital ones: namely, perhaps your bed and some storage - do we really need to own them? At the scale of a city, does it make sense to be moving around thousands of similar looking bed frames, wardrobes, and bookshelves, like a huge swaping game which in the end consumes gas, human energy, and leads to the familiar left-behind casualties on the curbside?
Recently I've been mulling over possible alternatives. Among the first solutions: inbuilt furniture. One where architects and designers would participate in taking the load off the inhabitant's back, by making it a necessity to provide inbuilt storage.
The 'student dorm' model, improved. Of course it means accepting the idea of sharing furniture over time, but that's what we already do with buildings. A little clean up, and it's back on tracks for a new life. Wouldn't it be a fine system, where in theory you would only have to bring in your 'soft material' - linens, clothes, books, etc.?
SHAKER INBUILT FURNITURE
A wonderful example of integrating furniture into the design of buildings. Among the most graceful features of this practice: 'The drawers graduate in height from top to bottom, a typical Shaker design feature that combines practicality with pleasing proportions - the larger drawers are a the bottom so that heavier contents are not precariously near the top.'
Storage cabinet in Hancock Shaker village, Massachusetts
photog by Daveybot
photog by Daveybot
Another thrilling highlight: 'cleanliness - no dust could collect on top or underneath'.
Both quotes are from the wonderful book 'Shaker: Life, Work and Art' by June Sprigg and David Larkin, with photographs by Michael Freeman.