Have you ever wondered why we feel more at ease sitting next to a stranger at a bar but not at a table or in a row of seats?
You’ve likely felt the discomfort before: You head to a library, a local coffee shop, or even are looking for a place to rest during a layover; however, as you survey the available seating, it feels like there are no good options even though seats are technically available.
We’ve written about the lost seat factor before. It’s a common consideration (and challenge) for designers of public spaces.
However, the popularity of bar-height seating has always intrigued us. If you’ve followed our team for some time, you know we talk about human behavior a lot, and especially the human desire to feel secure and safe.
You might wonder with us: Wouldn’t bar-height seating in an open space make someone feel exposed?
Well, not exactly.
As it turns out, taking a look at the study of human behavior and the study of biophilia, there’s science behind why we feel comfortable in certain situations and will look for other options in others.
Leveraging Human Behavior in Seating Options
As humans, we have natural, innate behaviors or thought patterns that subconsciously influence our experience of a space. From a furniture perspective, our team is typically thinking of the human desire for prospect and refuge.
So let’s talk about bar seating again…
What is it that makes tall bar tables appealing? It’s that sense of prospect. We value the ability to find seating where we can “perch” and survey our environment as needed. We want to be aware of what’s going on around us at some level, no matter if we’re reading a book, having a meeting, or getting some work done. Part of our comfort comes from knowing we are able to survey the space we’re in.
This is actually the reason we originally designed the POD Study Carrel the way we did, with an opening on the side, placing the user in the carrel rather than at the carrel. Not only is someone’s back covered in a solution like this (providing refuge), but they are also able to have prospect (line of sight) across the space as well.
Refuge Means More Than Physical Space in Our Modern World
This all comes down to what makes us feel protected and secure as humans. While most of that conversation has to do with the subconscious physical needs that we have as humans, it’s important to acknowledge that feelings of safety come from more than just our physical environment.
In a world that is more connected than ever before, feelings of security also come from our ability to stay connected. According to Exploding Topics: Globally, people average 6 hours 58 minutes of screen time per day. Most people are spending at least a third of their 24-hour day using a device.
What does that have to do with furniture? A lot.
Power access has become more and more of a priority in public spaces in recent years. When we frame it like this, it makes a lot of sense.
Staying connected isn’t just a convenience in our world anymore; this is part of helping our patrons feel safe, connected, and comfortable.
When you pair power access with refuge and/or prospect, you’ve found a sweet spot in a space that supports people well.
One of Our Most Popular Solutions is Expanding!
All the questions asked above are questions we’ve asked about the popularity of our Power Bar solution. Over the years, the Power Bar has continued to be one of our long-standing best sellers, and customers in a variety of space types continue to tell us how popular the solution is in their facility.
Why?, we asked ourselves. The answer is that in a majority of spaces, it’s a great combination of power access, the ability to perch and have prospect across a space, all with the bonus of a modern aesthetic.
Because of the Power Bar’s popularity and effectiveness, we are officially launching a full collection of power tables, available now!
Our original power bar, new one-sided power bar, and collaborative table all have USB and electrical outlets at users’ fingertips. With a sleek, modern design, these charging tables brighten up any space. Tested engineering, along with the highest quality materials, such as stainless steel, stone, and laminate, ensure maximum durability for high-traffic spaces. Our powered tables and charging bars are proven sought-out spaces in airports and libraries around the country. (And they’re all made here in the USA!)
Here are the new additions:
The Skinny Power Bar
The skinny version of the Power Bar has all the same great features of the original, but its smaller width allows it to fit in a tighter space. It can also be used up against a wall for single-sided use.
You can also boost the sense of comfort by adding our modesty panel. The modesty panel could also be used to help section off your space or create boundaries in a large room.
The Power Table
By popular demand, we’re excited to announce that our Power Bar is now available in Table Height! We received so many requests for our streamlined Power Bar in table height, that we are now offering it as a standard product.
The Power Table has the same sleek profile as our widely-used Power Bar, but with the built-in power conveniently located on the table surface, keeping the space underneath clear for users’ legs when seated at chair height.
This provides great options for a cohesive style across your space, and is an incredible option for collaboration or longer work tasks in libraries, universities, airports, and more.
When we understand human behavior, we can choose the right furniture for our space that promotes comfort, connection, refuge, and prospect over our environment. This allows us to be confident that we are purchasing the right furniture for long-term effectiveness in our space.
Looking for the right solution for your environment? Get in touch with one of our furniture experts today!