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Designing for the new Workplace

Introducing Sakuru: an inspiring meeting and working table from Haworth and Gavin Harris that’s made to capture the needs of all users

Designing for the new Workplace


June 30th, 2012

Over the past decade, we have witnessed and participated in discussions on the changing workplace. We have commentated on the rise of the hot desk, analysed the decline of the segmented office and witnessed the co-working phenomenon. And yet, nothing has quite prepared us for the kind of shift that has come in response to Covid-19.

With remote working now standard for many of our shared industries, we may well be witnessing the end of “the workplace” as we know it. We are discovering new methods of productivity, new ways to communicate and – for some – a newfound ability to execute teamwork without all being in the same physical place.

Even once some kind of normalcy resumes, a change this big will have lasting impacts. We’ll see companies downsize to smaller spaces, allowing employees to shift between remote and contact days. With this, workplace design will need to hero furniture and finishings that promote agile working, that can be used by different teams who have different needs and standard ways of working.

Introducing Sakuru: an inspiring meeting and working table made to capture the imaginations and needs of all users regardless of culture, gender, age or profession. Able to support individual, group, linear, radiating, meeting and collaborative work styles, and switch between each, Sakuru pushes the boundaries of traditional workplace furniture, providing one system that has multiple uses over many life spans.

A pioneering design introduced by way of collaboration with Haworth and Gavin Harris, Sakuru was born months before Covid-19 hit, in response to a sector that had been moving steadily toward working environments that were more flexible in nature and design. Inspired by the principles of Co-cre8 (explore, converge, invent, make and test), Sakuru boasts intelligent technology designed to integrate individual, collaborative and meeting work-settings all in one piece of furniture.

Speaking to this new age workplace, Haworth have delivered a concept that defies tradition boundaries, redefining the perimeters of height-adjustable furniture in collaborative and meeting environments. Named after the Japanese word for ‘circle’, Sakuru’s spherical shapes and curves defy the standard angles of traditional workplaces. Metaphorically, Sakuru also speaks to a cyclic usage pattern, with the ability to change colour skins and fabric jackets ensuring that the form – like the function – has no end date.

Original product sketches for Sakuru

Beautiful and thoughtfully designed, Sakuru also consists of resolved solutions for clever cabling and technology integration within. Concealed charging, USB and power services have been integrated into the DNA of Sakuru, allowing maximum productivity throughout the workday.

With just two structural supporting elements, it employs minimal parts that can be arranged to support a wide variety of work-settings in a myriad of office, retail, hospitality and residential environments. Actuator controls are specifically designed for individual or synchronous control for team meetings or workshops, giving employees the opportunity to customise the way they work.

Haworth recognises the need for innovative solutions to facilitate the transitional workplace by bringing simplicity back into the way we work with Sakuru. The unique platform continues its purpose to support the ever-changing – and sometimes unprecedented – requirements of the working environment is demonstrated through a refreshing and versatile approach to active working. By using the principles of the Co-cre8 process and embracing change, Sakuru has been able to grow and develop into the usable, adjustable and customisable work-furniture of the future.

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