NeoCon 2015: London studio PearsonLloyd's latest collection of office furniture includes a double seat where you can sit "as close as you can get to a co-worker without HR having to get involved" (+ slideshow).
The range of furniture and desk accessories, designed by the industrial design studio for Canadian office systems company Teknion, launches at this year's NeoCon trade fair in Chicago, which opened today.
The collection includes a coat rack, a love seat, a high table, a series of nested vessels, and a desktop organising set – none of which look like conventional office furnishings.
"We began working with Teknion and realised that we didn't want to wait many years before showing any work," PearsonLloyd director and co-founder Tom Lloyd told Dezeen. "We think of the collection as a kind of 3D sketch. It's meant to challenge as much as it is to seduce."
The high table – a teetering three-part table, stool and coat rack – is designed to explore the idea of minimal workspaces.
"At what point do you make a workspace your own? When you open your computer or hang up your bag?" asked Luke Pearson, the studio's other director and co-founder. Made of beechwood, the piece is likely to be too unstable to ever be mass produced.
However, the love seat and coat rack will likely be put into production. Both are conceived as pieces to augment or personalise more universal workspaces filled with desks or cubicles.
Two conjoined chairs face each other to create the tête-à-tête love seat. "The design director of Teknion told us the love seat is as close you can get to a co-worker without HR having to get involved," Lloyd said.
"The coat rack touches on the idea of mobility," Lloyd added. "Why should you have to go all the way down the hall or to another room to hang your coat?"
The simple lines and olive-oil stained beechwood are used to offer a warm contrast to the standard metal, glass and laminates of most workplace products.
The marble desktop organiser includes a slot for a smart phone and a beech stand for a tablet. It also features a vase for a flower, a divot meant to hold a piece of fruit, and a slot for a pencil.
"The accessories help to ritualise and celebrate the elements and activities of daily life," Lloyd said. "Technology is important, but so is hydration and eating well."
The range of nested vessels – made from marble, brass, beechwood, and glass – are conceived as a set, but would likely be distributed throughout a space.
Other recent key projects by PearsonLloyd include the business class seat and cabin for German airline Lufthansa and a hospital signage system that has reduced aggressive behaviour by 50 per cent.
NeoCon – North America's largest commercial interior design trade show – runs from 15 to 17 June 2015 at The Merchandise Mart in Chicago.