Every year, plenty of interesting things happen at the Milan Design Week. But Lift-Bit takes the prize for being one of the most exciting products we’ve seen in a while. Designed and produced in a collaboration between Carlo Ratti Associati and Opendot, the sofa revolutionizes classic seating, transforming it into a high-tech and digitally controlled product that is also customizable, changing to suit the user’s needs. A genuine shape-shifting product, the sofa comes with embedded motion-tracking sensors, giving control to the user to adjust it with hand gestures or via the dedicated app.
“Lift-Bit draws on the potential of Internet of Things (IoT) technologies to transform our interior landscape”, says Professor Carlo Ratti. “In the future, we could imagine an architecture that adapts to human need, rather than the other way around – a living, tailored space that is molded to its inhabitants’ needs, characters, and desires,” he adds.
The project pays homage to another striking concept – the ‘70s “Generator Project” by British architect Cedric Price who proposed an “intelligent” building that would change its structure to respond to the inhabitants’ needs. Here, the power lies solely in the hands of the user. Featuring individual stools arranged in a large, unitary product, the sofa allows the owner to adjust each separate piece to create an endless amount of configurations. The stools’ soft upholstery hides a capacitive control system which senses the presence of the user’s hand and reacts to commands.
As it transforms into a set of armchairs, a traditional sofa, a playground for children, or a simple bed, Lift-Bit announces the arrival of a new kind of furniture. Furniture you can control and modify with one gesture. Launched at Milan Design Week 2017, the modular, digitally reconfigurable Lift-Bit is now available for pre-order. You can join the waiting list or subscribe to receive updates on the official site. Images courtesy of Carlo Ratti Associati.