Dynamic, flexible, functional, high-performance: how is the modern workspace changing? In the name of flexibility and engineering, recent projects from industry leaders look to provide an answer. Thanks to the impetus of smartworking, the classic workstation between monolithic filing cabinets and solid wood furniture is no more. Instead, we find pieces conceived to live the domestic space, readapted for offices both big and small. At the center of stylistic and functional explorations, sits the desk. Studied and designed on the typical lines and volumes of a traditional office table, recent models reflect the versatility of a new lifestyle. On one hand we have the addition of outlets and cables welcoming devices and hi-tech accessories, and on the other, the geometric expression of its parts reflecting the accuracy of a refined aesthetic. Two examples come in the new conference tables and desks from Pedrali and Et al. Between “T”-shaped supports and easel stands, we take a look at them here.
Proposed in various sizes, the Toa table from Pedrali features a designed by Robin Rizzini. Visually light and essential, it’s distinguished by a robust structure with a geometric and fluid form capable of supporting large surfaces that are perfect for the office. Toa’s signature element comes in its tapered bridge legs made of solid die-cast aluminum growing thinner at the base and expanding while moving up to create a “T” element supporting the top. Conceived to furnish a light office, an executive office, or even a domestic space thanks to its contained size and versatile forms, the table is flexible and modular in both length and width. To embrace the needs for distancing, it’s accessorized with the Toa Folding Screen: a sound-absorbing partition panel both light and foldable, it’s perfect to define and separate the spaces and sounds of any environment. Depending on the orientation of its doors, Toa can craft single U-shaped environments defined by a 1 meter wide workstation; an S-shaped configuration with two workstations one in front of the other; or an L-shaped layout to increase the workspace up to 1.5 meters in length. Using more modules, it’s also possible to create diverse layouts producing more workstations with a single table.
“An easel is an anonymous object, a silent servant that has always helped humans in their activities. It’s an essential tool made of a few elements that work effectively to make an architectural object that supports a surface,” explains Francesco Faccin, the designer behind the Harvey table from Et al. “Over the years, I’ve seen easels of every shape and material. Wooden easels in carpenters’ workshops, metal easels in joinery workshops, bronze easels in foundries, bamboo easels in Nairobi’s slums, and other types of easels to hold the marble in place in quarries, in artists’ studios, lute-makers’ workshops and architectural firms. A versatile object that gives life to thousands of interpretations while remaining discreet yet functional.” The Milanese designer born in 1977 articulates the classic easel into a pragmatic supporting element with an electrical supply, acting as a charging base for devices and hi-tech technologies adapted to contemporary work areas and flexible residential spaces. The schuko outlets and two USB sockets power PCs, cameras and telephones, but also coffee machines or toasters for the perfect lunch break.