Universal Kinetic Furniture Is A Transformer with Ulterior Motives

Lloyd Alter/CC BY 2.0

The first thing you think when you see this bed from Universal Kinetics is that it is a very cool piece of transformer furniture. But Steven Landau has an ulterior motive: he has designed a really clever device for the home care and aging in place market. It looks contemporary and the big screen TV looks like fun, but in reality, it has much of the functionality of a hospital bed, without the cost or the appearance. It "moves and changes to adapt to your life."

Universal Kinetics/Promo image

So it might look like a comfy sofa and TV setup;

Universal Kinetics/Promo image

It is cheaper and often healthier to keep sick people at home instead of in the hospital, but many people have to rent or buy those huge and ugly hospital beds and stick them in the living room. The Universal Kinetic furniture is designed to belong there, adjusting to different functions and forms easily, with simple, inexpensive technology.

Simple, sturdy materials are cut using precise, computer guided machinery, and industrial hardware means that this furniture will last a lifetime. The system is modular, and you buy only those components you need. The furniture acts as its own shipping container, and assembly at home is easy with just a screwdriver and clear diagrams.

Universal Kinetics/Promo image

As the population ages, the need for this kind of thinking about design will grow dramatically. Design for the elderly and the sick doesn't have to be ugly; it can look like it belongs. It can be affordable and not institutional.

This not the sexiest piece of furniture at ICFF, but it may well be the most important. More at Universal Kinetics

Tags: Bedrooms | ICFF/ New York Design Week