Visual of Furniture futures
Visual Essay

Furniture futures

Next Habitat

Wondering how next natural furniture may change your way of life? Will we feed our lamps? Grow chairs? Talk with our tables? Our furniture changes along with us...

The foundations of the home are ever evolving. We once built strong walls and thick windows to keep the elements out. Now, these structures are replaced with ‘living’ structures that operate like natural organisms. A nature inspired approach to living within the ever evolving urban landscape. Within this new cityscape, our homes open, close, breathe and adapt to their environment. We welcome the habitat into our home. Bacteria, once as the housekeeper's enemy, is now our dwelling's best friend. Mould and fungi are to take root. Materials used for construction and protection are replaced with an exterior that is designed as a living skin. The natural entry of light, air and water is welcomed into the housing. The furniture, the lights and the structure builds an entire smart ecosystem, with which you co-inhabit a space. Furniture once used purely as a source of comfort, now furniture becomes a natural energy source.

The objects within our home reflect the technological advancement of society. Whilst also using biomimicry to learn from old nature to design for next nature. A table that photosynthesises like a plant. A wall that houses an algae farm. Our furniture moves, shifts and sways to co-evolve with our modern lives. Just like us they need to perform multiple functions, be flexible and adjust to the ever-changing influences. Together with the different elements of our living spaces we create a dynamic choreography of space. One element changes in the performance changes, the rest moves along. In blending the biome to the digital, data centers can allow us to hack the interior, smart technology offering unlimited possibilities of living upgrades. Algorithms design your future furniture. How will you upgrade your home?

Nurturing Furniture

Home is the place where the young are nurtured. As children grow, so does our furniture. What if our furniture required that paternal care too? With biofurniture, we can coevolve with our new home inhabitants. A method of nurturing furniture that allows our off-spring to eventually care for us in return.

Light of your life

Having to nurture and take care of your light source results in an intimate relationship between light and owner. The owner of Teresa van Dongen’s light installation will feed and nurture it, as it is powered entirely by micro-organisms that releases electrons as a by- product. Some tap water, nutrients and a teaspoon of vinegar will keep it running.

Electric life by Teresa van Dongen

Eat your greens

Algae is one of the oldest life forms on earth. Designer Hyunseok An gives the under-appreciated ancestor a new value. From waste to wall the indoor micro-farm can be harvested to spice up the nutritional value of our diets. The bioreactor changes colour from transparent, mint green, to dark forest green when ready for consumption.

Algae Micro-Farm by Hyunseok An

Bask in bacteria

Our bodies make up ten times more bacteria than human cells. Instead of keeping a lock of hair or a child’s first tooth, store your unique microbiological fingerprint in Jan Kilngers Bacterial Light. In a colourful dance between algae and electrons, bacterial cultures form unpredictable and colorful patterns to illuminate your home.

Bacteria Light by Jan Klinger


The furniture industry pushes for the eradication of waste through creating a cycle of repair, reuse, refurbishment and recycling. Plastic as a main resource, but what if we applied this cycle to our food and waste, too? Furniture from food and tables from packaging waste. A circular process of home design with products that are fully compostable and carbon negative.

Grown your own

Using industrial organic waste such as potato starch and cocoa, Studio Eric Klarenbeek created the biodegradable Mycelium Chair. A carbon negative chair that absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, producing oxygen during its life cycle. The strong bonds of 3D printed mycelium are used to bind bioplastics, to create chairs, tables, even a house!

Mycelium Chair by Eric Klarenbeek

Plastic fantastic

The Great Pacific Ocean Patch has reached three times the size of France. Now designers are collecting and repurposing plastic waste for your interiors. Made from recycled plastics, the different polymer scraps are moulded into new materials for chairs, shelves and tables while cleaning up our environment.

Recycled Table by Precious Plastic

Float like a butterfly

The era of new product materials is truly buzzing. French designer and daughter of bee-keepers Marlène Huissoud creates a series of leather-like objects from rare by-products from beehives and silkworm cocoons. Without killing, the worm matures to a butterfly, celebrating the morphosis of the insect. With the cocoon wardrobe, you too may morph like a butterfly!

Cocoon Wardrobe by Marlène Huissoud

Energy Interior

We try to capture solar energy on our roofs, now we can capture the energy of the sun inside. Furniture takes on a new function and becomes a source of energy within the home. No more looking for batteries or adapters in the junk drawer.  How will your furniture harvest energy?

Recharge your batteries

Food and smartphones arguably connect us more than any other product. Marjan van Aubel’s Current Table 2.0 not only unites your family to share a meal but simultaneously provides the energy source for charging your phone. Mimicking the natural process of photosynthesis, it integrates dye-sensitised solar which uses the property of colour to create electrical currents.

Current Table 2.0 – Marjan van Aubel

Through the looking glass

Carvey Ehren’s colorful windows make the best out of the grey and rainy days. The material is made from up-cycled organic luminescent compounds from fruit and vegetables that can harvest ulta-voilet light. This award-winning AuReus system can turn organic waste into windows that perform as energy harvesting solar panels - even without direct sunlight.

AuReus Solar Windows by Carvey Ehren


Our indoor plants purify the air in our homes. Now they can also illuminate it. Ermi can Oers and Pant-e`s Living Lights harvest energy from your indoor plants through the use of Plant Microbial Fuel Cell technology. Time to let your plants shine!

Living Light by Ermi van Oers

Shape Shifting

This past year our lives were temporarily put on hold. Whilst we are not moving much anymore, our furniture is. Our furniture needs to be multifunctional and flexible to enable the flow of everyday life from work, to exercise, to entertainment. What if our furniture could shape-shift?

Find your flow

Finding the balance between work and exercise requires a new workflow. Such as, the buoy stool which helps you live a healthy lifestyle despite long working days. The stool keeps your whole body fit and active as your core is balancing on the flowing chair. A wave of a new balanced lifestyle is coming your way!

Buoy by Enrichers

Floating from home

Flat ground plans are outdated for planning your office space. Nolex by Floating Office is redefining the borders of the modern room and the limitation of space. The interplay of motor skills, cable winches and pulleys enables a moving structure that adjusts to your height and even disappears to the ceiling completely. With this floating office, ergonomics know no limits.

Nolex by Floating Office

On the shelf

Once we used screws and force to mount our shelves to the wall. With RockPaperRobot’s float shelf, your books can be displayed on a 2D matrix of ‘magnetized’ wooden cubes, balanced through a network of steel cables. The equilibrium can be shifted through external force which creates new floating shelf structures.

Float Shelf by Rock Paper Robot


Domestic Devices

Trees communicate with each other and other species through an interconnected web of roots, fungi and scents. Now, smart home devices, gadgets and accessories make up the network of technology within the smart ecosystem of your home. The fridge communicates with the virtual fitness coach through the Internet of Things. Our living spaces are smarter than ever. Alexa, our furniture now thinks on its own!

Dinner for Zoom

Gained a couple pounds whilst in quarantine? Smart mirrors don’t lie! Luckily, the digital kitchen shelf can search for various recipes, order groceries and even compare prices. Once guests are welcome back to the home, set a reminder, order the groceries and set the menu. Need to check who has any allergies? Give them a quick call! The smart kitchen is Android and iOS compatible. 

Smart Kitchen by SKTelecom

Feel that virtual burn

Jax Jox introduces the all in one interactive fitness studio. Stay motivated with virtual and robotic coaching. The home gym offers AI powered performance tracking, live stream clases and strength cardio recovery. With digital coaching and smart tracking technology, that virtual beach body is in sight.

Virtual Home Gym by Jax Jox

Dress your avatar

SK Telecoms smart dressing table allows users to select a virtual avatar through which you can pick your outfits, style your hair and choose your makeup. A touch screen with multiple functions allows you to scan the news, check daily schedules and of course listen to music. A smart make-over fit for any techno salvationist.

Smart Dressing Table by IOT


Developed a recent project that explores future living? Drop us a line at magazine[at]nextnature[dot]net. Make sure to submit images/ links and a short description of the project. Thanks!