September 28, 2004

Carbon fiber chairs

Carbon fiber, miracle fiber from the 70s, seems to be making inroads into the furniture industry. I think it's potentially an interesting metric of how quickly this industry can absorb new technology, or maybe it's just that carbon fiber has only recently gotten to be cost-effective enough to profitably mass-produce furniture (though I find that hard to believe, since the markup on furniture has to be at least that on motorcycle mufflers, and those have had carbon fiber on 'em for years).

In the past 6 months I have seen 3 carbon fiber chairs appear:

What does this mean for smart furniture? I think it means that at least someone thinks that there's a sizable market for non-designer furniture that's made in nontraditional ways. A lot of innovative stuff, like in any early adopter situation, is bought purely because it's made in some wacky way or out of some wacky material; it's when things are bought for what the wacky does, rather than for what it is, that things take off.

I feel that information is a kind of material that is manipulated by technological tools and projected into the world as objects, so the opening of the market to new materials is good news. It's an interesting datapoint.

And here's an interesting carbon fiber/kevlar twill material that could be even cooler.

Posted by mikek at September 28, 2004 03:02 PM | TrackBack
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