Co.Design, Fast Company's design site, featured Rockwell Unscripted and HiLo this week in two separate pieces, which discussed the cultural shifts that drove both introductions. Knoll introduced Rockwell Unscripted and HiLo at NeoCon 2016, the annual industry trade show that takes place in Chicago.
The Co.Design piece "Today's Workplace Is a Stage, Not an Office," published on June 13, 2016, introduces Rockwell Unscripted, designed by Rockwell Group, and includes interviews with Rockwell Group Founder and President David Rockwell, Knoll CEO Andrew Cogan, and Knoll Director of Design Benjamin Pardo. The piece describes Rockwell Group's collaboration with Knoll from inspiration, design brief, and design development, introducing the central "office as stage set" analogy.
Co.Design includes an overview of shifting workplace culture. "Younger people consider their office the entire office, particularly on the West coast," says Benjamin Pardo in the piece. "One of the things that always belonged to an employee was 'my chair.' It was 'their chair,' and they adjusted it to make it their own. If you talk to someone who's 20 years younger, they don't have obsession over that. The possession of an object has gone away, and it's about the ownership of the overall space."
To that end, the piece says, Knoll and Rockwell Group designed Rockwell Unscripted for people to take ownership over the use of their environments, in support of a welcoming, morphable space that can meet a variety of organizational needs and individual workstyles.
"If more and more people can do work at home, the question is, why do they go to work?" asked David Rockwell in the piece. "One of the reasons you go to an office is you can work together, or you can work individually, and we're trying to accommodate that."
Andrew Cogan, CEO, Knoll, described Rockwell Unscripted as rounding out the Knoll portfolio, with an eye to supporting change and volatility. "The changing mixture of how much space companies allocate individual and private areas versus group and collaborative areas has changed and shifted dramatically," he told Co.Design. "It seemed to us that we had an opportunity under our brand to pivot into a more diverse and balanced portfolio."
"The world and the workplace continues to change at a rapid pace and what we try and do is stay in touch with how these needs are evolving," Cogan added.
Read the piece.
A day later, Co.Design wrote about HiLo, the new dynamic perch designed by Box Clever, in "The New Office Chair: Portable, Lightweight, and Shaped Like a Pogo Stick." The headline comes from a quote by Andrew Cogan.
"It's like if you smashed a razor scooter and a pogo stick together," Cogan told Co.Design. "It's comfortable, it's light, it's mobile, it can be a guest chair, it can support you standing or sitting. It's relevant to individuals in their homes as well as workers in their offices."
The article places HiLo alongside Rockwell Unscripted in its point of view that today's workplace is increasingly dynamic, itinerant, and, like a good host, puts choice in the hands of the worker. "Increasingly, people don't sit—or stand—in the same place throughout the day; rather, they move about an office depending on the task at hand and need products," Co.Design writes. "For contract furniture makers, it's no longer just about offering task and lounge seating."
Describing the thinking behind HiLo, Cogan, quoted in the piece, said: "We asked, what do you use when you're standing up? It was clear that you ended up with this chair gridlock when you were at tables. There's got to be some device between a chair and a stool that would work in this environment."
The article also describes Box Clever's approach to HiLo's form. "Rather than trying to complicate things, how do we simplify?" Bret Recor, co-founder of Box Clever, said in the piece. Co.Design describes HiLo's form and silhouette as "restrained, giving...HiLo the flexibility to be used in different environments, like homes or hotels."
And for those who may be loathe to cast aside their comfortable desk chairs, "Recor points out that you're typically more attentive in meetings when you're standing versus slumped in a chair."
Read the piece.
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