Interview: Thomas Feichtner says that workplace furniture needs to keep up with evolving digital lifestyle

Interview: Thomas Feichtner says that workplace furniture needs to keep up with evolving digital lifestyle
Published: 29 November 2018 - 11:28 a.m.
By: Shweta Parida

Product designer, Thomas Feichtner, has collaborated with a host of big brands such as Swarovski, Laufen and Adidas to name just a few.

Furniture design for workplaces has changed over the years. What are some of the most important considerations for you as a designer when designing office furniture?

The workplace is undergoing constant change. Thanks to social media, friends and family are our daily companions even in the office. We post, like and share at work. Conversely, we read business mails at midnight, Sundays and public holidays. We are always available for friends and work. Our means of communication completely remove the boundaries between private and professional. The workplace and work are no longer the same location; office furniture must be able to deal with this development confidently.

Recently, many studies have emerged with findings that open-plan offices may not always be the best solution. According to you, which scenarios allow an open plan office?

New technologies allow us to work wherever we want. At the beginning of the century, ‘teleworking' was the future scenario. Today, we know that ‘working alone' can also isolate. Collaboration and exchange with one another is an important factor in office planning today. Therefore, my focus in the design of office furniture is not the maximum yield of an employee's efficiency but the ‘feel-good factor'. My designs should be neither office furniture nor home furniture but everything in between.

New technologies allow us to work wherever we want. At the beginning of the century, ‘teleworking' was the future scenario. Today we know that ‘working alone' can also isolate. Collaboration and exchange with one another is an important factor in office planning today. Therefore, my focus in the design of office furniture is not the maximum yield of an employee's efficiency but the ‘feel-good factor'. My designs should be neither office furniture nor home furniture, but everything in between.

How does Bene's new office collection contribute to this evolving dialogue in workplace interiors?

When you attend a meeting today, many people place their laptop, tablet, or smartphone on the meeting table in front of them. The devices begin to vibrate, blink, and distract from a face-to-face conversation. A disaster for an inspirational conversation. That's why all Studio tables have a second level where all electronic devices can disappear. This not only brings order to meetings, but also creates more privacy in open offices.

What are the highlights of the latest Studio by Bene range?

The design for the shelving system is notable — in principle it consists only of vertical plates and horizontal bars, which can be screwed together. In just a few minutes, you can playfully construct an entire wall full of shelves, or room dividers. When we had the prototypes in our hands for the first time, we were surprised how fast and easily it works, and yet it is so rigid. Should anyone have any doubts about Studio, I can only recommend assembling and disassembling the shelving system.

 

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