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Multi tasking product-structures: The Lifeguard desk

Last week we looked at the borderline between structures and products. This week I wanted to highlight another exmaple from Lifeguard Structures.

These peices of furniture are designed to shelter the user from harm in the event of a complete building collabpse. Here in Seattle where the group has a showroom, the obvious concern in earthquakes, but clearly other scenarios of complete building collapse are all too easy to imagine. What caught my eye were some of the photos of their test models embedded in building rubble. You can see the video on their website to get this view.

So here we have a structure hidden in a piece of furniture. The sustainability element potentially includes adaptation to the severe storms anticipated with increasing climate change.

You may be thinking that the desk isn’t that interesting looking–does it remind you of a school teacher’s desk from the 1950s? But the company argues that the skin can be adjusted to virtually any style.

One principle of sustainability–multifunctionality–suggests we should be demanding more from our spaces and products. Lifeguard structures is another response to how we deliver it that ventures into the structure/object borderland.

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