Zones takes Gold and Best of Competition at NeoCon 2016
In 2014, Teknion and renowned industrial design duo Luke Pearson and Tom Lloyd of London-based PearsonLloyd began to explore design concepts that would reflect the social and technological changes driving new behaviors at work. This creative collaboration has resulted in Zones, a robust solution for workplace design based on a poetic expression of a humanistic work culture. Last week at NeoCon, it also resulted in a Best of Competition Award from the prestigious Best of NeoCon Competition. “Zones emanates warmth and empathy in an expressive way that layers a richness over the precision engineering,” notes Pearson.
Building upon current concepts of community, fluidity and well-being, Zones emerges as a comprehensive series of furniture products that transform the office, challenging convention and changing the way people experience work. The line comprises seating, tables, screens, easels, and accessories, as well as semi-private hubs that can act either as intimate collaborative settings or as a place of retreat when privacy is desired. According to Lloyd, “It is a complete and cohesive collection that populates or pollinates across the entire office landscape.”
zones is a complete and cohesive collection that populates or pollinates across the entire office landscape.
With choice as a core concept, Zones serves an office landscape informed by varied levels of activity and several degrees of privacy or community—a workplace in which each day is a mix of work, learning and social experiences. It addresses a scenario in which co-existing work modes play out across a field of fluid and overlapping work areas that exist “in between” the less flexible geometry of private offices, formal conference rooms and high-density workstations.
As forward-looking organizations begin to challenge the orthodoxy of an assigned desk or office, the shared office is becoming a more persuasive concept. Rather, companies are opting for an activity-based model that flexes to accommodate the different kinds of work a person needs to do, and offers unrestricted access to people and spaces, technologies and experiences. “Planning isn’t just about fitting furniture into a floorplate,” says Lloyd. Zones provides a framework that supports the free flow of thought and the dynamics among people from which creativity arises. With its “loose fit” and inherent flexibility, Zones challenges the dominance of conventional office layouts and can be fine tuned to support workers’ most creative energies.
Zones creates a landscape less bound by fixed structures, one in which people can freely network, meet, retreat or gather for a presentation or sociable conversation. Each element feels natural and intuitive in application, with a simplicity and neutrality that allows Zones to work in tandem with other furniture typologies, and act as a seamless overlay to the Teknion portfolio, adding another layer to the workspace mix.
Taking a fresh approach to form and function, “Zones punctuates the workspace, interjecting commas, full stops and exclamation points within the syntax of desking and systems furniture,” says Lloyd. The line employs a branched 108-degree angle that acts as a visual language running through the entire collection. Rather than yielding a compressed, high-density environment, the 108-degree angle creates a circulation space around the furniture, making it easy and natural to move between one zone and another and allowing a more complete use of space. By using a 108-degree geometry, Zones delivers a welcoming and ergonomic setting with no sharp edges or demarcations.
Zones also contributes to an inviting and uplifting workspace via a skillful mix of materials and textures, even within products. Wood and textiles offer visual and tactile warmth. “Zones celebrates craft in forms and materials that take cues from the domestic environment,” says Pearson. Simple, soft-edge forms—which are both informal and familiar—depart further from traditional workstation typologies, finding a balance between comfort and function, softness and rigor, craft and precision engineering.
Ultimately, while a complex narrative informs Zones, the collection succeeds in adding all those layers—organizational stresses, technology, demographics, emerging workstyles and so forth—to deliver a workplace solution that is both authentic and self-evident in form and natural and intuitive in application.