Yesterday I went to check out the Interior Design Show 2008. It's exciting to see the various trends and creative designs for everyday products. Because of my HCI background, I kept search for the great designs that are attractive and usable. I think in interior design context, "Usable Products" means the products can bring people comfort, convenience, and flexibility in addition to their functionality. Here are some interesting examples I saw.
Convenient and flexible. Dinning table, chairs, and silverware container all in one design. The chairs can be collapsed under the table to save space. I also noticed that the surface of the chair is curved so that it's more comfortable for people to sit in. It works well for a simple dinning table but I'm not sure how would it work when there are more than 4 people at the table. Maybe more chairs can be mounted.
Another Convenient and flexible example. Fridge draws under your counter - easy to get to when you cook food. There's no big fridge in the kitchen to occupy space. You can think about it as if the fridge divides into small coolers and can be placed wherever convenient (e.g. cabinets, draws,...).
Cute and intelligent rabbits can give you peripheral awareness of the weather, time/appointments, new email or IM messengers, and other information you program it to connect to. This is a trend - intelligent physical objects are coming to our homes and offices to be more than decorative objects. They help us be more productive in our busy days.
Not sure about you, it really bothers to me to have a floor pattern of insects. It's definitely unique, but I don't know if your guests will appreciate it. With not so bright evening lighting, they may scream ``Ants!`` before they say ``Hello.`` :)
This is a winning student (Alex Mohamed) design from Ryerson. The concept is really inspiring - think of your furniture as an extension of another piece of art. Brilliant!
Another smart and very flexible design by a student (Laura HenneBerry) at OCAD. The couch is composed of layers of cloth flaps. Depending on how deep you want to sit, you can flip the flaps up. It becomes a bench when all the components are folded down. Although I couldn't sit down to see how comfortable it is, I like the out-of-box design thinking.