Jan 31 2019

The evolution of the screen

Whether Asian, modern or country style, screens are one of the most flexible pieces of furniture around and can be easily set up, collapsed and tucked away as needed due to their construction. Even though screens have never really gone out of style, they are the must-have home accessory of the moment. The innovative designs of the new models have come far from their somewhat outdated image.

A design classic for new living environments

With roots going back to eighth-century China and Japan, the design classic is seeing a comeback as today’s “open living” trend becomes ever more popular. Since the beginning, screens have always been used to create a room within a room. The growing urbanisation has seen renewed attention being given to this function.

Apartments in big cities are becoming more open but also smaller. Anyone looking at the property market will find many apartments with loft-like “open” spaces that allow the kitchen, living and dining areas to be combined. These open layouts offer new creative possibilities as well as room for design elements such as screens which give the rooms balance and structure.

Another trend is the micro-apartment. The one-room apartment is the answer to the densification of housing in metropolises, where the number of single households is growing. Screens create an additional place of retreat in the smallest of areas. By using new designs and innovative materials, screens not only create a place of retreat in the home and sense of balance in open living spaces, they are also a design element and a reflection of individual lifestyle.

The Luxembourg company Dante Goods and Bads has developed the Minima Moralia, a room divider made of powder-coated aluminium. The stunning room divider designed by Christophe de la Fontaine from pleated fabric provides sufficient privacy while simultaneously imparting an airy quality.

Those who prefer a classic and natural style will find what they are looking for at Cane Collection. Atelier 2+ is a design studio based in Bangkok that utilises the art of caning in its collection. Wood, plastic or textiles – the materials used for modern screens could not be more different or varied.

Privacy and sound absorption

Room dividers have never stopped being popular in hospitals and care facilities. This is mainly on account of their functionality. In hospitals and medical practices, lightweight screens serve to convey a feeling of privacy. The German company Ropimex has two portable lightweight folding screens in its range – the RFW and RLP.

The privacy screen can be folded up quickly and the castors ensure maximum mobility. Czech furniture manufacturer TON has also added a screen to its Santiago 02 collection that is specially designed for people with limited mobility in care facilities.

With the emergence of coworking spaces and open-plan offices, room dividers also serve the purpose of reducing unwanted background noise. Ropimex’s DIVI collection offers various acoustic solutions that bring together function and design.

One such model is the DIVI put.on, which consists of individual cubes in two sizes that can be assembled within seconds by means of adjustable feet and connectors made of anodised aluminium. The cubes come in twelve colours and can be positioned anywhere in the office.

Demarcations are a necessity not only in new living situations but also for rooms with unusual or complicated layouts. The use of screens as a design element is also increasing. After all, shared space is double the space!

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