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OMA and UniFor launch PRINCIPLES Collection at Perth Design Week

Ahead of the 2024 edition in Perth, renowned international architecture practice, OMA, launches its PRINCIPLES collection pushing the boundaries of modularity in office furniture.

OMA and UniFor launch PRINCIPLES Collection at Perth Design Week

In collaboration with Molteni Group company, UniFor, OMA is launching its PRINCIPLES collection at Perth Design Week. Located at Cathedral Square – renamed PRINCIPLES Square for the upcoming public event – the sprawling exhibition of multifunctional furniture spans over 600 square metres.

Serving as a central hub for Perth Design Week, which runs from 14th to 21st March, 2024, PRINCIPLES Square celebrates contemporary workplace furniture that “can be used by anyone, at any time,” says Italian-based, international furniture brand, UniFor. In true OMA style, the pieces range in size from S to XL, and are designed to be configured in limitless ways, enabling both collaborative or independent working environments.

Collaborating with numerous global architecture studios and designers, Molteni Group is a leading independent high-end furniture collective renowned for facilitating collaborations such as PRINCIPLES. With roots in Italian construction since its inception in 1934, they have an ever-growing passion for technological innovation; their constant investment in research and design evolution allows Molteni Group to be pioneers in the furniture world, creating products with an intrinsic quality that lasts generations. Being one of their many arms, UniFor is Molteni Group’s furniture development business, with a focus on workplace solutions and office interior design.

Through UniFor and OMA’s previous collaboration for the OMA-designed Axel Springer Campus in Berlin during 2018, the duo created a series of pieces that embraced OMA’s design ideas while leaning heavily into UniFor’s technical and manufacturing expertise. CEO of UniFor, Carlo Molteni, shares how “working alongside OMA [always offers] an opportunity for UniFor to gain new perspectives and visions.”

For Perth Design Week’s PRINCIPLES, various designs were taken from their original collaboration and re-engineered to be highly modular and completely customisable. “It offered us a platform to further experiment” with these pieces, shares OMA associate, Philippe Braun. He also notes how they looked to the “public’s various ways of interacting with furniture to further explore how the collection can be applied beyond the typical workplace”.

Within Principles Square, over 100 items take form in round, triangular, square or donut shapes. Integral to stitching these items together are curved partition panels, forming the “backbone structure onto which shelving and seating is attached,” as UniFor explains. The result is an unraveling office-scape, with pockets of varying functionality.

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The reading room is intimate; it has a tighter radius, and is lined with shelving. The radius loosens to form a more generous area for larger, more informal sofas within the movie screening zone. Gridded tables are boxed in among straight runs of partition walls, resembling a rectangular room of more traditional office-like proportions. Double-sided partition walls host tables and chairs along its run, promoting multiple uses and user agency. UniFor notes that “the overall result is an interior landscape with infinite possibilities, composed of microarchitectures that provide for multiple and diversifiable functions.”

An innovative approach to materiality was integral to the further development of the collection. Breaking the barriers of traditional workplace textiles, high-tech sportswear fabric has been adopted for the upholstery, allowing for the softness of fabric to be present, while also instilling a resilient and highly durable material sensibility into the pieces.

Extra-thick colour core laminates were used in limited but carefully selected colours, carefully balancing out the everyday greys of typical officescapes with exciting pops of colour. Microperforated sheet metals were also opted for, particularly for their acoustic performance. Together, the various material choices work harmoniously while progressing the norms of traditional workspace materiality.

Open from 10am to 7pm daily, Perth Design Week’s new central hub, PRINCIPLES, is set to be a boundary-pushing exhibit, showcasing just what happens when an international architecture practice such as OMA collaborates with renowned workspace furniture design professionals like UniFor.

Perth Design Week

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