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Products for a Playful Office

Is fun part of the future of the office? Yes, says Jason Bird of Luxxbox, who develops products for workspaces where home, work and playfulness exist together in a modern mash-up.

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January 18th, 2017

Colourful, unexpected, purposeful, playful. These are the words that Jason Bird, the Creative/Managing Director of Australia- and USA-based design company Luxxbox, uses to describe his products, which encompass lighting, furniture and objects for commercial and domestic settings. They are words that hold resonance with the context of today’s collaborative workspaces, which demand high performance on multiple levels – including fun and engagement.

Around a year ago, Luxxbox began a partnership with Haworth – an ideal complement to their existing presence in the Asia Pacific and North American markets. Here Jason Bird shares insights about how Luxxbox hits the mark for today’s collaborative work environments with playful products developed through.

What do you consider to be the key considerations for a designer of furniture and products for commercial environments?

Flexibility and adaptability. Rigidity is out and change is in. If creativity is the new currency in the office environment, then our furniture needs to contribute to that creative output by how it can be used, configured, changed and reconfigured – not only aiding but amplifying the group’s thoughts and visions.

Tell us about the process of conceptualising and developing the products for the Haworth xFriends collection.

Luxxbox recently launched its brand ThinkLab by Luxxbox. This range focuses on furniture and lighting for the workplace, addressing flexibility and agility in the modern office, as well as sound and privacy. These products work cohesively with the Haworth xFriends collections.

There are other products in the pipeline, which are being developed in response to an identified need to fill a product gap for Haworth. There are certain product styles in development where Haworth is making a significant contribution by way of assessment and evaluation within their collaborative spaces. We’re working with their co-create teams to ensure the products are the best possible. We have some exciting new products coming through that are quite unique and define new categories.

The pieces you have designed for Haworth all share a bold aesthetic. Why?

This is very much the Luxxbox brand aesthetic. We consider our products to be slightly unpredictable – whether it be colour, material, manufacturing process or just the design. Having said that, almost all products can be customised with regard to colour, which makes them incredibly versatile. Our aesthetic is very much about promoting playfulness in the workplace. The office experience is evolving and becoming a mash-up of home, work and fun.

What are the best-selling Luxxbox pieces in the Haworth xFriends collection? Why do you think that is?

We have had great success with the acoustic lighting range and the Thought Boards. Both of these product ranges are quite unique, and offer exciting new workplace product that Haworth has not previously been able to offer clients.

How do you expect commercial furniture to evolve over the next decade? What are some of the factors you see shaping it?

The traditional office environment will become less relevant. People will have more choices about where they work. As we become more digitally connected and devices lose their need to be tethered to power, the workplace will become a place of collaboration and contact – somewhere workers want to interact and enjoy. Furniture will reflect this – fewer workstations and task chairs and more softer, collaborative environments. We’ll see agile furniture that can change shape and purpose, not just move about. Air quality and sound are also becoming more and more important.

What are you working on now?

Agile spaces are key. We are at a very advanced stage of development for a truly flexible system of ‘defining spaces’ that allows teams to quickly collaborate, change, make rooms, meeting spaces, quiet zones, et cetera. It’s all extremely lightweight and low cost. It should be game changing!

Images courtesy of Haworth and Luxxbox

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