Stephanie Hornig
Stephanie Hornig

11 Couch Designs of the Future

Stephanie Hornig
Stephanie Hornig

Are you just gonna sit there? When you could be sprawling, cuddling, storing, or hiding? Check out 11 new concepts in sofa design.

1. Sleeping Back With Legs

The Austrian designer Stephanie Hornig describes her Camp Daybed (above) thusly: “The camp daybed is a sleeping bag with legs, on which we can relax during the day and sleep at night.” It doesn’t have much back support, but given the choice between cocooning up inside my couch or just sitting on it, call me a caterpillar every time.

2. Something for every room

Courtesy of Archello

For her final project at the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs, Fanny Adams designed the ultimate Leatherman of futons. It’s a double bed, it’s a couch, it’s a storage area, and it’s a table and desk. It’s all you will ever need if you ever have to go back to living in that storage unit.

3. A couch you can actually get lost in

Courtesy of Gizmag

Created by Italian designer Emanuele Magini, The Sosia (which means Doppelganger) is Play-Doh is sofa form. You can slouch it, zip it, divide it, and hide inside of it. Actually, that is way better than Play-Doh.

4. Naptime included

Courtesy of DesignRulz

Multiplo could be your everything, especially for parties. First, all the guests at your place sit in a square and tell everyone one interesting fact about themselves. Then, with a few folds, snacks are served on what is now a table. Then, you can stack them up and play fort. Lastly, lay the whole thing out for multiple person naptime. Awesome.

5. Gone to the dogs

Courtesy of Yankodesign

INU YOCHI Dog Pod, Hound Heaven.” Your dog’s sofa is boring, too. This one lets a pooch really dig himself in and get comfortable.

6. The Origami Sofa

Courtesy of Cattelan Italia

The Origami Sofa Bed by Andrea Lucatello. It’s not so much about the comfort or the versatility (although the Origami does fold down into a funky little bed)—it’s about the triangles. You just don’t see enough triangles beautifully rendered in furniture design.

7. A Bean bag straight out of Star Trek

Courtesy of Alexander Rehn

The Cay Sofa is from Swiss designer Alexander Rehn. It’s supposed to be like a hyper-intelligent bean bag, anticipating your movements. I’ll admit the video doesn’t make the product look too inviting, what with all the rolling and flopping going on. But it does look like something straight out of the Star Trek: The Next Generation prop department, which is all some people really want in a sofa.

8. Bamboo-framed Sofabed

Courtesy of Ole Jensen Design

There is some undeniably sweet about the "We are Families" Sofabed by Ole Jensen. He used only two materials—cotton and bamboo—and made a simple couch that is actually just a pile of little sleeping mats. It doesn’t look like it’s for actual sitting, but who cares? It’s so adorable!

9. For any mood

Courtesy of Design Rulz

The Anima Causa Feel Seating System is balls. Yep, 80 foam balls all tied together and waiting for you to pile into any position that “reflects the ever changing emotional state of the body.” Set mine to “ennui.”

10. Reclining is the new sitting

Courtesy of Design Rulz

The Carousel Sofa by Andrej Statskij is more proof that lying is the new sitting. The entire piece is made from coated polyurethane foam and was inspired by carnival rides. Carnies not included, but not difficult to obtain, either.   

11. Basically...a pillow.

Courtesy of Design Rulz

The Blandito pillow, from Oradaria Design in Florence, was intended to shake up the world of “sofa morphology.” This means, I think, that sofas should not be just stupid big chairs that don’t do anything. The Blandito can be folded into a love burrito, tied into a chair, or pinched into a big soft stool. 

Apple Wants to Patent a Keyboard You’re Allowed to Spill Coffee On

In the future, eating and drinking near your computer keyboard might not be such a dangerous game. On March 8, Apple filed a patent application for a keyboard designed to prevent liquids, crumbs, dust, and other “contaminants” from getting inside, Dezeen reports.

Apple has previously filed several patents—including one announced on March 15—surrounding the idea of a keyless keyboard that would work more like a trackpad or a touchscreen, using force-sensitive technology instead of mechanical keys. The new anti-crumb keyboard patent that Apple filed, however, doesn't get into the specifics of how the anti-contamination keyboard would work. It isn’t a patent for a specific product the company is going to debut anytime soon, necessarily, but a patent for a future product the company hopes to develop. So it’s hard to say how this extra-clean keyboard might work—possibly because Apple hasn’t fully figured that out yet. It’s just trying to lay down the legal groundwork for it.

Here’s how the patent describes the techniques the company might use in an anti-contaminant keyboard:

"These mechanisms may include membranes or gaskets that block contaminant ingress, structures such as brushes, wipers, or flaps that block gaps around key caps; funnels, skirts, bands, or other guard structures coupled to key caps that block contaminant ingress into and/or direct containments away from areas under the key caps; bellows that blast contaminants with forced gas out from around the key caps, into cavities in a substrate of the keyboard, and so on; and/or various active or passive mechanisms that drive containments away from the keyboard and/or prevent and/or alleviate containment ingress into and/or through the keyboard."

Thanks to a change in copyright law in 2011, the U.S. now gives ownership of an idea to the person who first files for a patent, not the person with the first working prototype. Apple is especially dogged about applying for patents, filing plenty of patents each year that never amount to much.

Still, they do reveal what the company is focusing on, like foldable phones (the subject of multiple patents in recent years) and even pizza boxes for its corporate cafeteria. Filing a lot of patents allows companies like Apple to claim the rights to intellectual property for technology the company is working on, even when there's no specific invention yet.

As The New York Times explained in 2012, “patent applications often try to encompass every potential aspect of a new technology,” rather than a specific approach. (This allows brands to sue competitors if they come out with something similar, as Apple has done with Samsung, HTC, and other companies over designs the company views as ripping off iPhone technology.)

That means it could be a while before we see a coffee-proof keyboard from Apple, if the company comes out with one at all. But we can dream.

[h/t Dezeen]

Pop Chart Lab
150 Northeast Lighthouses in One Illustrated Poster
Pop Chart Lab
Pop Chart Lab

Some of the world's most beautiful and historic lighthouses can be found in the American Northeast. Now, Pop Chart Lab is releasing an illustrated poster highlighting 150 of the historic beacons dotting the region's coastline.

The 24-inch-by-36-inch print, titled "Lighthouses of the Northeast," covers U.S. lighthouses from the northern tip of Maine to the Delaware Bay. Categorized by state, the chart features a diverse array of lighthouse designs, like the dual towers at Navesink Twin Lights in New Jersey and the distinctive red-and-white stripes of the West Quoddy Head Light in Maine.

Framed poster of lighthouses.
Pop Chart Lab

Each illustration includes the lighthouse name and the year it was first lit, with the oldest lighthouses dating back to the 1700s. There's also a map in the upper-left corner showing the location of each landmark on the northeast coast.

Chart of lighthouses.
Pop Chart Lab

The poster is now available to preorder for $37, with shipping set to start March 21. After memorizing every site on the chart, you can get to work exploring many of the other unique lighthouses the rest of the world has to offer.


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