Cork and other designer natural materials are part of a powerful new trend affecting both how we work and how we relax. Spaces themselves, right down to the building materials, are vital for the success or fruitfulness of activities happening within them — this is a revelation famously employed by the tech startups that create lounging and playful areas for staff in which to work. Natural substances can make an interior highly conducive to productivity and creativity, and, heightened experiences of leisure (which may or may not include relaxing activities such as using personal mobile devices).
Coffee Tables and Comfy Tablets
The form factors of the latest mobile devices, especially tablet computers, basically encourage us to be more comfortable when we use them. These devices adjust to our positioning since they are so handy, rather than the way we used to adjust ourselves to computer terminals at desks, or even flatten our laps for laptops. This generation of mobile devices could be considered part of an overall reevaluation of workspaces, as well as recreation spaces — and particularly the interesting intersections between them.
The fact is that offices and studios have tended to be arranged and furnished according to the machines (such as desktop computers) being used within them — and, without that requirement (as with mobile technologies and wireless networks) the design of such spaces and free movement within them are freed up considerably. Even more surprising perhaps is that the same is true of home living spaces, in which computers, monitors, TVs and game consoles may dominate the decor and arrangement of other furniture (often the wall outlets must be factored in also).
Now, things are getting decentralized because it is becoming mainstream for a family, for example, to own many mobile devices (all sharing a household WiFi router), such as a smartphone, a tablet (perhaps two or three if there are kids), a laptop, perhaps a flat screen on the wall that various devices also share. This means that each person in the space not only can move about freely, finding the right spot, but can interact with one’s own content. Parents may be playing online casino games while the youngsters are shopping online or doing homework research with the Web. These might even be considered unique spaces (head spaces) within the common space of a living room, for example.
Casinos in a Back Pocket
There has been a dramatic expansion of these “head spaces” in the form of content, apps, online mobile Web applications, resources, e-courses, banking, and so forth. Simple hobbies and complex ones alike are well represented by their followers online. At the extreme, a worldwide phenomenon in which entire casino complexes worth of games have migrated, and miniaturized, into mobile games.
Many millions of ordinary people around the world have begun playing real cash mobile games of various kinds (from bingo, to roulette, to multiplayer poker, to live dealer table games, to slots, et cetera) — a big determinant of this has been the rise of safe online payment tools like PayPal, Neteller, Skrill and others. Instead of having to transport themselves to casinos, probably most of these players enjoy the games from their homes, in comfy clothes, or else in very “mobile” situations like riding the bus home. Safe payments to play games can be made anywhere today.
Tablet casinos represent not only great Web-based entertainment that has received a wave of social acceptance across the world (as well as official regulation and verifications), it also represents an example of the new spaces that are evolving as people are freed from wired, stationary computers. Mobile devices offer not only content and tools for being personally creative, they also provide access to a new paradigm of interior design — one in which natural materials will increase in popularity for construction and decoration.