2 Unit furniture. The map of the idea’s multiple rebirths
The unit furniture used to be a permanent fixture in the Polish interiors during the People’s Republic period, and thereby became a significant element of the interior design history. Since then, it has been overgrown with non-scientific narrative, which frequently distorts its image. These discrepancies refer to perceiving such furnishings as typically Polish, misrepresenting their names and recalling inadequate examples of their precursors. First of all, the basic considerations of this type of furniture include its names, which function in a very simplified form at the moment. The research, therefore, aimed to verify the nomenclature. By means of the analysis of dictionary entries and the day-to-day references to various types of storing furniture, there has been offered a classification of unit furniture – perceived as an architectonic as well as interior design element. Secondly, the description of solutions analogical to those applied in the Polish segment furniture and present on several continents in the course of the 20th century has allowed the homely wall unit to be included in the broader perspective of the world furniture design history, and verified the hypotheses regarding the possible inspirations of Polish designers. The indication of similarities, functional and aesthetic alike, between various designs is aimed to better understand the idea behind the “living wall”.
Keywords: 20th-century industrial design, interior architecture, furniture making, unit furniture, segment furniture