With the extension of teleworking, the boundaries between private and professional life have become extremely porous: this also affects the layout of the home, which must respond to multiple activities and a redefinition of what is of the order of the common and intimate, as it also affects the layout of workplaces. You have to make people want to come back, trust, that the employee feels like “at home”, and translate this desire into the choice of furniture … which has been well understood – and for a long time – the editors. The entire contract sector vibrates with these changes: from hotels to hotel-offices, we are moving from the era of modularity to that of transversality.
In the early 2000s, an online game hit the headlines: in a world created by the “residents” themselves, Second life proposed, under cover of an avatar, to invent another life for you. The enthusiasm was such that even political parties opened virtual offices in this universe to support their campaign for the presidential election. The present time joined that of science fiction. This metaverse – in the terms of this domain – offered a space to conquer, a world to build. Free at the start, it was also possible to generate income via a dedicated currency exchanged for “real” dollars: from hobby to income-generating activity, the line of demarcation had thus been crossed briskly. If the craze has since subsided, Second life still has an active community.
At the time, the buzz clearly called out on the porosity of the borders between real and virtual, private and professional spheres. In another form, it seems that the question nowadays rests in the changes in the ways of life that we perceive. The last few years have accentuated this feeling that one can – depending on the job, of course – work from any place, as long as a computer and an Internet connection are accessible. And, curiously, this access to virtual contacts redefines our very real territory: it questions again on time and space, on what is of the order of our private life and on what concerns professional activity. . It also questions our ways of relating to the office as to the home, between a common space, whether we like it or not, and a space of one’s own, to be determined, which can be fixed or variable.
Coliving, reconstituted family, ephemeral team in project mode … Like the “all-modular” and the customizable that can be seen in recent furniture collections, the challenge ahead for design and construction professionals. interior architecture would it not relate to an optimal modularity of spaces in order to adapt them to our new lifestyles?
Like the limitless metamorphoses of a spy film, we dream of walls that turn, transforming part of a living room into a temporary bedroom, table tops that overturn converting an office into a kitchenette …, To adapt our immediate environment to our changing lifestyles. As nomads of the 21st century, like sailors, one can imagine a foot in several ports, between an urban accommodation and a refuge in the countryside with its self-sufficient vegetable patch, between main residence, semi-main and ephemeral rental. This, in a spirit of mutualisation of goods and services supposed to meet environmental challenges.
Yes, we can dream… Except that, as you will read in the pages of this issue, we are already there: reality has caught up with the imagination once again. And if our living spaces are therefore to be reinvented, it remains to be seen how flexible we ourselves will be.
Wishing you a beautiful autumn under the sign of meetings and discoveries, face-to-face, during major design events, which we all meet again with happiness!
Editor in Chief