Dezeen Magazine

David Rockwell and Benchmark Sage Collection

David Rockwell designs Sage office furniture to be more sustainable and adaptable

American architect David Rockwell has designed a collection of more sustainable office furniture for Benchmark that draws on the adaptability of his theatre set design.

David Rockwell and Benchmark Sage Collection
The height of the Sit-Stand Desk and Workbench can be adjusted at the touch of a button allowing users to work while standing

Rockwell Group designed the Sage Collection for furniture manufacturer Benchmark to comprises workspace furnishings like sofas, benches, storage units and movable desks all constructed with sustainable materials.

The New York firm, which has designed sets for Broadway plays, approached the collection's design with a similar mindset to create pieces that are flexible, but that also promote wellbeing. Several of the furnishings can be transformed and customised to suit multiple functions and environments.

David Rockwell and Benchmark Sage Collection
A panel made with wool, felt and cork extends up from the centre of the desks to create separate work spaces and board for pinning up items

"It's similar to set design; you need to create the right pieces for the actors to manipulate and advance the storyline," Rockwell told Dezeen. "Adaptability, privacy, and wellness are key to establishing a sense of wellbeing in your personal space."

Sage Collection is designed to align with environmental and sustainability standards set forth by WELL and Declare.

David Rockwell and Benchmark Sage Collection
The pieces all use "natural, sustainable non-toxic materials and finishes" and comply with environmental sustainability standards.

WELL is a certification that credits buildings enhancing the health of their inhabitants, while Declare is an initiative that was launched earlier this year by the International Living Furniture Institute. It calls for material transparency, so consumers know where parts are sourced from, where the product was manufactured, and its expected lifetime and recyclability.

All of the materials and finishes in the Sage Collection, which include, walnut, sycamore, oak, wool and copper, are natural and non-toxic. Upholstery on the sofas, lounges and benches is filled with coir, latex, sheep wool and recycled cotton, rather than plastic foam.

David Rockwell and Benchmark Sage Collection
Also in the collection are the Sage Meeting/Dining Tables, which are available in three shapes: round, oblong and rectangular

"This overcomes the significant environmental concerns surrounding the disposal of plastic foam in landfill as well as eliminating the need for toxic, fire-retardant chemicals," the studio said.

Among the collection is the Sage Sofa which comes in two heights. One features an extended wooden back that curves around the upholstered base to allow for separation and privacy from surroundings.

David Rockwell and Benchmark Sage Collection
A curved wood back wraps around the textile seating to make up the Sage Sofa 

The Sit-Stand Desk and Workbench is modelled after the craftsmanship of a classic drafting desk, and combines contemporary technology and timeless design. At the touch of a button the height of both can be lengthened, allowing users to work on their feet.

A rounded panel, made with wool felt and cork, extend up from the desks to act as a functional space divider.

David Rockwell and Benchmark Sage Collection
The collection also features circular oak and sycamore side tables

Other pieces in the collection include circular oak and sycamore side tables, upholstered benches that can include a wood backrest, dining tables with rounded or rectangular edges and patinated copper details that can also double as adjustable height meeting surfaces and a sideboard that serves as both a divider and storage unit.

David Rockwell and Benchmark Sage Collection
All of the pieces have been upholstered using natural wool materials and are filled with coir, latex, sheep’s wool, and recycled cotton rather than plastic foam

Founded in 1984, Rockwell Group has completed a variety of projects across the fields of architecture and design – including a plywood stage for Diller Renfro + Scofidio's The Shed, furniture for Chinese brand Stellar Works and interiors for hotels including Moxy Chelsea.

Benchmark was founded by Terrance Conran and Sean Sutcliffe over 30 years ago it brings sustainable and innovative technology to all of its products. The Sage Collection, which launched this week at London trade event 100% Design, follows other collaborations with architectures including Foster + Partners.

Photography is by Petr Krejci.