Calvino is designed with the dichotomy in mind that a desk system developed for everyone can not be personalised in reality. True Systems furniture will never look and feel personal. However, Calvino aims to invoke a warm empathy, trying to motivate the user emotionally. In this approach the search for a perfect system is substituted by more relaxed, unattached, interchangable and independent pieces. The soft curves and thin edges of Calvino’s simple and naive shapes evoke powerful and raw emotions; more up-lifting than the use of homogenous sharp and industrial systems design language.
The program was developed as a novel concept for companies who have environments where they want to embrace new ways of working. The brief for the project was to “erase the industrial memory”. This erasure takes physical form by optically reducing table top thicknesses and softening the support legs.Instead of the ubiquitous 18-25mm composite desktop thickness one experiences only an attractive thin line of 4mm of top surface joining with 2mm of tapering aluminium support frame. The legs are not a rectangular section with a sharp corner, but tubular limbs that meld seamlessly into the soft profile of the structural under-frame. All desktop accessories are either self standing - easily removed at any time with the minimal use of tools - or positioned to the edges of the table frame on two deliberately thin legs.
Calvino represents a new proposition for a single desk for the individual. It offers something personal for a new worker profile with much higher qualities than before, and recognises that the corporate level between mid-management and operator is slowly blurring. The program can grow into 2- or 4-person workstations as well as into a bench system. Calvino proposes a method to create the transformation of a work zone; desks can be configured as easily as they can be subsequently separated for different work styles.
Within the boundaries of the unique frame, different finishes of desktop materials can co-exist defining functional zones in an elegant design.
Calvino layouts are always permeable spaces where concentration is achievable across many designated workplaces thanks to specialised desktop accessories and cabinets. Workspace division and designation is refinable due to a selection of different cabinetsand combinations. Many layouts can be softened by the introduction of seating groups that break up the “factory farm” or “production line” agitations generally created by workstations. The open approach promotes freedom and communication throughout the different work functions of the company team, creating more motivational interaction.
Thanks to the structural qualities of Calvino, a seamless bench can be conceived with a unique aesthetic. The extrusion profiles and injected corners can be the basis of a 6-person bench framed by one extrusion along the full length, as well as offering the added possibilities to attach any of the systems accessories; shelves, screens, lights or box files. The cables are carried from the floor box to the table with the vertical power ducts that also help support the elegant structure.
The design’s inherent qualities can present themselves silently in many colours but even in the icy absence of colour. Through a play of shades from using matt and gloss white finishes Calvino creates and presents its aura. This monotone design opportunity can relate to its surrounding environment silently without representing a competitive or oppressive tone.
Calvino translates and paraphrases the emotional language of furniture, removing and denying all connotations of the corporeal, rigid world of “the office”. The shapes and detailing offer an optical, cartoon-like naievity over an intelligent but rigid frame. The soft, rounded edges of letter trays, and storage boxes open on both sides, the primitive look of the bent sheet shelf, or the mini-screens that open like japanese geisha fans, all add to this visual smorgesbord.
For a manager’s workstation Calvino focuses on social relations rather than just directorial priorities. A new 21st Century manager has emerged who is a visionary leader and relentlessly forges forwards in the battlefields of life together with work comrades. Emotionally fuelling the team and energising their creative potential.
Designer: Studio Kairos