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Furniture Design for Natural Movement

Updated: Aug 20, 2022

Featured here are two pieces I designed and commissioned. The first is a sofa and the second is a dining table.

One of the primary curiosities that drives me is how all things are interrelated. In my clinical psychology work, I often explored how environment interacts with wellbeing.

In designing these pieces, I was inspired by the work of Katy Bowman and Dr. Stephen Porges.

Katy Bowman is a bio-mechanist who teaches on the movement of our bodies—both the movement that takes place within our bodies as well as the ways we move our bodies in space.

Part of the focus of her work is removing the “casts” we place on ourselves through conventional decorum.

In encouraging more creative movement within our environment, we maintain our freedom of movement within space.

Dr. Stephen Porges is a psychiatrist and neuroscientist who studies trauma and safety.

He proposed Polyvagal Theory as a conceptualization of our nervous system’s role in social engagement, attachment, and safety.

Integral to this theory is the relevance of safety signals we receive from our environment.

Combining these two disciplines, I wanted to create pieces that allowed the lived-in space to become more interactional and less static; a place that encouraged playfulness and activity, while also signaling safety and rest to the nervous system.

In the sofa design, I included an extended platform to function as a side table. It has also functioned as a jumping off platform for little ones, a stage, a playscape, and a cave for dinosaur toys.

I also considered our movement within the greater world in creating the sofa. I worked with a small company to create custom cushions made from deadstock fabric that would otherwise become textile waste, filled with recycled shredded memory foam.

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