If you asked a producer in the control room furniture industry to list ten adjectives about their business, it's likely that only one would be related to high technology. Control room furniture, when taken as a whole, is in fact a stable and conservative sector. But I do not see this as a bad thing in the least. The strength of American manufacturing is built upon stable segments like control room and office furniture. It is important, therefore, that these companies not chase every innovation that comes along.
But there is an innovation on its way that may be unwise to ignore. One of the biggest names in furniture design is soon to release a new type of office furniture that could revolutionize the industry in a major way. Herman Miller is product-testing a customizable line of office furniture called Metaform that allows the various pieces to be reconfigured in countless ways. Don't worry, you can shape these interlocking pieces into the tried and true cubicle arrangement. But the pieces can be rearranged to allow for more face-to-face time if a company is undertaking more collaborative projects.
Studio 7.5, a German-run design firm, was hired by Herman Miller to bring Metaform to life. Before Metaform appears in stores, the designers have had prototypes in numerous offices to gather data about how end-users will specifically employ the various interlocking parts. The development of this
is all part of Herman Miller's "Living Office" initiative. The underlying assumption is that workers in the near future will be working less and less at a single workspace. As such, the ability to reconfigure workspaces will be a necessity. If your company is foward thinking, then your best bet is to buy from a similarily innovative company, like Inracks or just visit this site.
Data center furniture could be negatively impacted by such a redefinition. Control room consoles are most often site-specific. Companies that keep the control room sector afloat, might move toward greater collaboration and therefore could demand less. It is hard to see how certain sub-segments of these industries could ever take on more collaborative work (e.g., defense, intelligence). But as a whole, American culture has shifted toward more collaboration. When we examine the crowd-funding and crowd-sourcing phenomena, we see that the move toward crowd-based actions has become almost ubiquitous.
Perhaps it is time to rethink our perception of the control room furniture industry. I'm not forecasting the end of the industry or anything of the sort, but a change toward user-configured furniture is nearly inevitable. Rearrangeable furniture might initially lead to an industry downturn, but it behooves control room furniture manufacturers to embrace the technology. If we do so, America's backbone will continue to get stronger.