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    A Study in Multifunctional Storage — Flow Trolley

    The trolley has for long been an almost iconic element within modern design, at first being used as a bar unit up through the latter half of the 20th century. However, the spaces that we inhabit today, be it at home, in the workplace or in a hospitality setting, require multifunctional design; elements that can be moved from setting to setting while changing shifting their functionality according to the given purpose of the space within which it is present. Enter the Flow Trolley by Paris-based Normal Studio, bringing the concept of functional design into a modern context. Here, we explore the ideas of the design duo in relation to the identity, expression and functionality of the Flow Trolley.

    “The starting point for the design was to explore the many different functions that a trolley can have and how these can change from room to room. It was important to design something that could not only be used in the living room to hold bottles and glasses but also something that could be seen in the bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, home office and even restaurants and offices,” says one half of Normal Studio, Jean-François Dingjian.

    Echoing the ideas of a functional simplicity, the Flow Trolley came from a structured approach to design: On that, other half of Normal Studio, Eloi Chafaï, remarks: “The trolley is designed like a system—it has wheels, trays and feet, all connected through elegant lines. Breathing a silent character into the design is its grooved trays in embossed metal that lends a contemporary feel to its silhouette.”

    Though having a clear, simple outline, the eclectic pattern in the surface of its trays allows for the Flow Trolley to make something that can best be described as a silent noise: “The pattern of the trays make for a somewhat visual vibration, enhancing the identity of the design,” states Dingjian.

    After having assessed the functional and visual traits of the Flow Trolley, the duo is asked about what emotional sentiment they sought for the design to express. To that, they say: “We imagined the Flow Trolley as something that would bring a kind of freedom into daily life—something that can tell many different stories; stories of kids playing with their toy car and returning it to its place, a day spent in your home office, getting ready for the day in the bathroom or putting a good book down at the end of the day before lying your head down onto the pillow.”

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