An office environment today, a living space tomorrow _ the Wilkhahn DinA Office range allows a completely different approach to office structures.
Debureaucratization, simplification and increasing flexibility _ who does not dream of transparent, effective organizational units? That can adapt spontaneously to new tasks, team constellations and market situations? And ones in which the strict demarcation between the working world and living space is also diminishing as office work is moving more into the private sphere and, vice versa, the office world is becoming dynamic, vigorous and homely? For everyone who takes this dream seriously, the DinA Office range offers a completely new storage and furnishing concept _ that is a far cry from the office furniture ideology of past decades: fascinatingly simple, attractively clear, refreshingly innovative and lastingly effective.
Small office _ home office _ these buzz words have had a formative influence, to varying degrees, on office concepts, trade journals and trade fairs for many years. One thing is for sure: organizational structures have changed considerably and, at the same time, office environments have become more complex, unclear and specialized.
What has partly been a great success in the computer and entertainment world _ namely the integration of a high performance capability and complexity into simple, transparent, exciting and intuitively functioning design _ so far this has been rendered impossible in office environments due to continuing differentiation and division into furnishing segments and fields of application.
This was precisely the starting point for designers Udo Schill and Timo Küchler in their work for Wilkhahn. They looked for an effective furnishing concept:
- that is highly simple and can be reconfigured and changed spontaneously without a lot of reassembly effort,
- that gives the user individual scope, encourages him or her to improvize creatively and also conveys harmony, structure and order,
- that has the functional professionalism of an office furniture range, while conveying a comfortable, homely atmosphere,
- and last but not least, is as much at home in an office interior as in seminar and conference spaces, in bistros and areas for breaks, in professional practices, agencies, healthcare and wellness businesses, a living room or a dining room.
The Platonic principle of proportion: 1:÷ 2
Designers Udo Schill and Timo Küchler had drawn up the principles of the new DinA Office range as early as three years ago: with the DIN A range, they developed a striking, purist furniture range for Wilkhahn with dimensions and proportions based on DIN A paper formats. These, in turn, originated from Greek philosopher Plato some 2,400 years ago, who developed extremely calm and harmonious proportions in the form of an area ratio of 1:÷ 2. which played a key role in architectural works of art in Antiquity and the Renaissance …
The surface area principle: 1 = 2 = 4
Yet the DIN A principle is more than just balanced proportions: if surface areas are halved or doubled, this results in an area with length and width in constant proportions. This allows various sizes of tables and storage units to be combined, aligned or configured at arbitrary angles as required. The result is always a calm, harmonious appearance based on constant proportions.
Three functional heights: low, sitting and standing
In addition to table sizes 1/1, 1/2 and1/4, the two designers defined three functional heights which can be used to reflect any office processes ranging from working and relaxing, communicating and cooperating to learning and presenting: low height (44 cm) for storage, sitting or reclining, sitting height (73 cm) for working, conferencing, learning or eating, and standing height (109 cm) for informal communication, consultation or presentation purposes.
Reduction of complexity: minimal effort, maximum utilization scope
DinA Office combines reduction to one single principle of proportion and surface area with coherent design quality that has both a professional and homely character: tops and bodies in wood are mitre jointed, and rear panels are flush inserted. Surfaces have a bonded finish in bright white; table tops, doors and fronts are optionally available with real wood veneer. Front edge with a 45° perimeter rebate providing means of opening drawers, pull-out accessories and doors with finger pressure.
Table and storage units can therefore not only be configured as required, but each unit is highly versatile in itself in terms of application. For example, the large table (1/1 = 168 x 118.8 cm, height 73 cm) can be used both as a spacious work table and a conference table affording generous legroom, or as a dining table laid for six, including space for serving dishes and refreshments.
A cushion transforms the low table into a stool; a television or a printer turns it into a techni-station and a tray with china and refreshments creates a storage surface in a lounge area.
The current function of the furniture unit is defined by the application selected by the user and may be changed quite spontaneously at any time. DinA Office thus provides maximum individuality and adaptability to tomorrow’s world: it does not matter how requirements and office structures change, these furniture units are designed with flexibility in mind to take on new tasks as contexts change.
The programme: table and five “helpers”
The DinA Office range defines the table as a central element for working and living structures: this is where people work, consult, talk, discuss, compare notes, learn, celebrate, play and eat. The tables are therefore multidirectional and reduced to essentials: one top with four square legs flush-mounted with the edge of the top; in spite of graceful dimensions (4 x 4 cm), the legs guarantee a high degree of stability and application scope due to a concealed underframe.
Five types of storage unit are available as “helpers”:
- “TouchDown”: the low-height, mobile unit (44 cm) corresponds to the 1/4 table in terms of surface area. It also serves as a storage module for suspended files (DIN A4 across) and drawers, as a seat or a storage surface for technical equipment.
- “Hangar”: the name refers to the storage capacity of the sideboard element in sitting height (73 cm), which is also coordinated with the dimensions of the 1/4 table (84 x 59.4 cm).The Hangar is optionally fitted with suspended files and drawers in various combinations.
- “Tower”: the surface area of this variably configurable unit in standing height (109 cm) with drawers and suspended files corresponds to the 1/4 table (1/8 = 42 x 59.4 cm). This allows it to stand alone or be combined with 1/4 or 1/2 high tables.
- “Archive”: this unit uses the same reference surface area across (59.4 x 42 cm). It defines modules for arranging books and files. The Archive models are available in standing height (109 cm = 3 binders high). Models with a height of 144 cm (= 4 binders high) are also available. They are either open or with doors with right or left hand opening/closing.
- “Taxi”: last but not least, the DinA Office range has one “wild card” with drawers and suspended file drawers with a surface area of 1/8 (42 x 59.4 cm)that corresponds to standard proportions, but with a height of 63 cm it is designed to nest under a table if space is limited.
Intelligence down to the very last detail
One of the ingenious and fascinating details is the idea of creating a second, flexible level directly underneath the table surface. Fittings are inserted into the concealed underframe to hold a flexible storage net. Everything can be stored underneath the table: power adapters or surplus cable, files or documents, pizza packaging or battery chargers …
The fact that the glides of the non-mobile storage units can be adjusted from inside for exact alignment is just one of the many ingenious details.
It almost goes without saying that cable channels, cable outlets and table clips are also optional features. The same applies to organizer inserts for drawers and pull-out accessories to accommodate everything that needs to be sorted, stored and filed in an office world that is _ still _ paper-oriented.
Finally, optional features such as a damped closing mechanism, interlocks and central locks reflect the current level of professional and convenient office organization.