Alternative office furniture by Rolf Hay and Lund University students
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Rolf Hay and Lund University students design alternatives to corporate office furniture

Milan 2016: students from the Lund University have collaborated with the co-founder of Danish brand Hay to produce a range of experimental office furniture especially for small-scale workplaces (+ slideshow).

In Our Office by Lund University students and Rolf Hay
Zip It by Rae Bei-Han Kuo is a sound insulation chair that zips up to give office workers privacy

The 12-piece collection, which was created in collaboration with Rolf Hay and German designer Stefan Diez, was presented at an installation named In Our Office at this year's Milan design week from 12 to 17 April 2016.

In Our Office by Lund University students and Rolf Hay
André Gunnarsson's Bunk Desk system is a range of desks modelled on bunk beds

"On the grounds of economy of scale and for sheer convenience, the office furniture industry has focused on large-scale offices," student André Gunnarsson told Dezeen. "The small-scale office has remained a somewhat mystery to the furniture industry."

In Our Office by Lund University students and Rolf Hay
Umbrella by Malin Yngvesson aims to shield workers from distractions

"Nevertheless, the small-scale office is an interesting habitat, particularly regarding young creative workers," he continued. "It aims to offer a habitat for young creatives pursuing their own dreams and convictions beyond the beaten track of corporate constraints."

In Our Office by Lund University students and Rolf Hay
BRB by Fredrika Hansson is wall partition with a fold-down bed that allows workers to nap throughout the day

Rethinking office furniture was a key trend in Milan this year, where Dutch furniture brand Lensvelt presented its collection of intentionally "boring" office furniture at an installation at Ventura Lambrate, and Ercol launched a contemporary range of home study furniture at the Salone del Mobile fair.

In Our Office by Lund University students and Rolf Hay
Deskretary by Dick Hammer is a foldaway desk

Pieces in the collection range from desks modelled on bunk beds, to a chain of plant pots designed to purify office air.

Designer Fredrika Hansson has focused on need for privacy in small offices, creating a wall partition with a fold-down bed that allows workers to nap throughout the day.

In Our Office by Lund University students and Rolf Hay
Coffee Corner by Anna Mattsson and Isis Flote is designed to bring colleagues together for impromptu meetings

"In our office we have blurred lines between working hours and fun times," said Hansson. "The ping-pong breaks and coffee rituals are the small things that make us inspired to do great work, but the small-sized office can be compared to sharing a room with your sibling."

In Our Office by Lund University students and Rolf Hay
Fold by Siri Skillgate is a pleating textile that can be used to conceal areas of the office, and to absorb sound

"It is great to be able to be together, but sometimes you need a break for yourself," she added. "Be Right Back allows us to regain energy by taking a rest."

Earlier this month, office design expert Jeremy Myerson told Dezeen that the Google-inspired fad for slides and ping-pong tables has had a damaging impact on the workplace.

In Our Office by Lund University students and Rolf Hay
Babylon by Elias Monzón is a chain of plant pots intended to purify office air

Avoiding distraction from colleagues is a common theme among the products, and designers André Gunnarsson,Malin Yngvesson and Rae Bei-Han Kuo have each come up with systems to encourage concentration.

In Our Office by Lund University students and Rolf Hay
Plug & Play by Bjorn Fjaestad and Jennifer Bengtsson lets the user create their own adaptable power grids

For his Bunk Desk system, Cunnarsson looked to the stacked designs of bunk beds – a piece of furniture consisting of two beds, one above the other, that together form a unit.

"Having a hard time concentrating due to chatting desk buddies is a common problem in the small-scale office," he said. "For better or worse, everything tends to become a group activity."

In Our Office by Lund University students and Rolf Hay
Workaround by Sofie Aschan Eriksson is a pop-up furniture system that can be remodelled to suit different activities

By splitting the desks onto different levels, Cunnarsson hopes to provide a space where the office buzz fades away – allowing workers to get on with the task in hand.

Others have looked to impact of lighting and electrics in the workspace, and have come up with interactive solutions such as Emilia Claesson's personal spotlight, and a flexible wiring system by Bjorn Fjaestad and Jennifer Bengtsson.

In Our Office by Lund University students and Rolf Hay
Spot on by Emilia Claesson is a personal light that can be customised depending on the users preferences

Fjaestad and Bengsston's Plug & Play is a modular wiring system that lets the user create adaptable power grids by placing and connecting access hubs with flexible cords.

"In this day and age power outlets tend to determine where we can sit and work and can result in undesirable cable situations," they said. "We want to change that."

In Our Office by Lund University students and Rolf Hay
Finder by Erik Thomasson is an activity based desk organiser

Other pieces in the collection include an activity-based desk organiser, a modular pop-up furniture system, a "coffee corner" for impromptu meetings, and a multifunctional folding fabric that can be used to create seating or as a noise absorber.