London studio PearsonLloyd has added to its collection of office furniture designed for the open-plan workplace as part of its partnership with Teknion. Following last year’s Towards New Workplace Paradigms series, the new furniture – titled Zones – is focused on creating spaces for privacy, collaboration and relaxation within a flexible environment. The collection features a semi-private pod combining two sofas, as well as seating, tables, screens and easels.
“The boundaries between traditional and emerging work space is breaking down,” said PearsonLloyd co-director Luke Pearson. “People don’t just work in offices; hotels, public transport, cafes and home have become an extension of the office.” “Zones responds to this mentality by embracing and facilitating today’s dynamic work ethos.”
The largest piece in the series is Lounge, a partly enclosed pod of two couches wrapped in a screen. It is envisioned as a space to read, think, talk and write that is insulated from the noise of the office. The Canteen table can be used for stand-up meetings, while the Workshop table with benches comes in a square shape to enable many people to converse easily.
Seats range from the reclining, high-backed Solo lounge chairs to a compact stool, while the easel is available in both blackboard and whiteboard finishes. The series is tied together with a common visual language of rounded, almost oblong shapes and muted natural finishes.
The products incorporate wood, aluminium, plastic and textiles in colours like olive green, moss and slate grey. Flattened and gently bent strips of wood are a feature of the legs of the chairs and tables, as well the easel frames. The choice of materials and finishes were driven by the desire to make people feel more at home in the office environment.
“In a world of mass production, the authenticity of a product becomes increasingly important,” said PearsonLloyd co-director Tom Lloyd. “Warmth, humanity and simplicity within Zones provides a platform for focus and relaxation and can facilitate activity and collaboration when necessary.”
The style is in keeping with PearsonLloyd’s earlier series for Canadian office systems company Teknion, which introduced a face-to-face double seat where you can sit “as close as you can get to a co-worker without HR having to get involved”. Office furniture is currently experiencing a rethink driven by social and technological changes that free workers from their desks, while keeping them ever connected through mobile devices.
Other innovative designs have come from Dutch studio Prooff, which created a line of plush leaning posts that don’t neatly fit into existing categories of furniture, and experimental desks modelled on bunk beds from Lund University students working with the co-founder of Hay.