Break-out areas offer a welcome break from work, and are located either in an office or near a library reading room, or a seminar room. Privacy areas, however, serve either as places for informal brainstormings and meetings, or relaxed conversation between colleagues over a cup of tea or coffee.

As such, break-out-area seating tends to be more open, whereas privacy area seating offers more is more shelter, both visually and acoustically. Consider the subtle, elegant ‘Concord 520 CM’, designed by Claesson Koivisto Rune for Capdell, a comfortable chair upholstered in bright fabric with wooden legs, or Allermuir’s more sculptural ‘Conic’, which rests on a slender, steel-rod base, as examples of break-out seating.

Overall, sculptural form tends to dominate here. Examples include Verner Panton’s modular, ornately curving ‘Cloverleaf’ seating, produced by Verpan; Ron Arad’s ‘Folly’ for Magis, a dynamic, organic loop of a sofa; Karim Rashid’s abstract composition ‘Pierce’ for Softline; or architect’s Toyo Ito’s elegant, carefully proportioned, petal-shaped ‘Kohona’ bench, manufactured by Sancal, which can be arranged to create your desired seating configuration.

Antonio Morello’s cylindrical ‘Pop Bench’, on the other hand, grants individual privacy by featuring two large, abstract birds perched on it, which envelop the sitter. Some privacy area seating, such as Fredrik Mattson’s ‘Mute armchair’, extends this protection even further, with a high backrest and sides, and an optional upholstered roof overhead.

Martela Oyj-manufactured ‘PodSofa’ seating, designed by o4i Design Studio, and Jörg Bernauer’s ‘Concept C Con 72’ are both larger sofas with high, protective backrests and sides, and can be used to furnish privacy areas, offering both acoustic and visual privacy for a pair of sitters.

Finally, Robert Bronwasser’s ‘Bricks’ range for Palau is a modular seating system, which features a variety of elements, including side tables and high-back and low-back sofa modules that can be arranged according to customer specifications, and therefore can be used to create a seating ensemble for both privacy areas and break-out spaces, plus anything in between.

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