The future of furniture design are motion-controlled, shapeshifting chairs

The promise of MIT’s Transform project, currently showing at Milan’s Design Week, is that your living room suite of the future will be a lot different. Furniture will be able to transform itself to accommodate you, or your girlfriend, or your kid. This rigid wooden swivel stood that I’m currently sitting on, for instance, could instantly rearrange itself at the snap of my fingers into a relaxing recliner. 

This ergonomic dream is based on the inFORM project that has the lofty aim of bringing digital tech into the physical world. We reported on it a while ago. And though right now Transform looks about as comfortable as getting an MRI scan—just some unnerving, shuddering white cubes rising and falling in response to your waving at them—the Tangible Media Group has high hopes. “Imagine a car with a shapeshifting dashboard!” a spokesman from the lab tells Fast Company. And then I imagine this thing malfunctioning as I steer off a ledge.