Student Housing Business

JUL-AUG 2018

Student Housing Business is the voice of the student housing industry.

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FURNITURE July/August 2018 82 Curt Christian, president and CEO of Func- tion First Furniture (F3), has also seen a drive for more technologically savvy furniture for today's student. "There is a big push for out- fitting technology into the rooms and into the furniture," he says. "We have seen a large uptick in the use of our electric and crank 'Lift Fit' desks, which can be raised to allow for work standing up. We are also putting USB charging stations in every piece of furniture — even sofas and chairs." The Refinishing Touch — a company that offers re-finishing, re-engineering and reup- holstering of existing furniture at universities nationwide — has seen this trend shift even further to a need for Smart room technology that takes technological integration to a new level. "A consistent trend in furniture focuses on integrating the latest communication platforms and updated technology, especially within community spaces in a university," says Mario Insenga, principal and founder of The Refin- ishing Touch. "For example, Jack-packs that are an affordable way to update and integrate technology into existing furniture are now con- sidered, by many designers, to be an outdated item." "The integration of Smart room technology in university and hospitality is always top of mind," Insenga continues. "Another example would be the use of new apps for students to check-in and account for all their items and inventory when moving into their room. An additional trend would also be the recon- figuring of community spaces to accommo- date MOOC's [Massive Open Online Courses] being offered." In common spaces, it is especially important to select furniture that promotes teamwork and socialization. "A trend we are seeing in the furniture space is the design of furniture that promotes communication and collabora- tion," says Daniel Goldman, CEO of Ecologic Furniture "Today's students study and social- ize together. Often study blends into social time, and the furniture needs to enhance those trends." Student Style Appealing to the design aesthetic of students is paramount to developing living quarters and common spaces that they want to spend time in and want to live in year after year. "Today's students have access to so many design-oriented resources that they have become quite expert in décor and design," says Provin of University Furnishings. "They understand the different styles of furniture and have distinct preferences and expectations. It is important to them that their furniture comple- ments those style preferences, but comfort is also key. They want furniture that looks up-to- date and on-trend, but they also want to feel at home and be able to gather and relax with their friends. Plenty of seating and plenty of storage are always a priority. " This need for a design that matches the pref- erences of the student population is resulting in a much more concerted effort by student housing owners, operators and developers to provide furniture that appeals to student desires. "We have seen a change in the awareness and Blue Furniture Solutions maximizes space by building up, and adding more storage above and around desks.

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