Indoors or outdoors, work or leisure, at a meeting or a dinner party, serious and concentrating hard or playful, inspiring fun… Extremis’ tools for togetherness do away with all those outdated oppositions. The extremis collection works perfectly in apparently contradictory surroundings. Twenty years of pioneering design: What did change in the last two decades?
Work and leisure merge seamlessly
Work and leisure merge seamlessly×
A lot of people used to draw sharp lines between different spheres of their lives but those days are gone. In the 21st century, the artificial borders between public and private, living and working, productivity and relaxation are blurring more than ever before. In fact this is not really new. Pushing back the boundaries is a natural characteristic of playful, enquiring, adventurous people. That was true right back in the time of the great 16th century French writer François Rabelais, in whom Extremis has found a high-spirited soulmate. Rabelais is a prime example of a modern, open mind. He wanted to find things out, to experience life, which is why he cheerfully ignored all society’s silly little rules and limitations. Away with imposed traditions and etiquette. Rabelais had the guts to go to extremes.
Rabelais' Novel “Pantagruel” illustrated by Gustave Doré
Rabelais' Novel “Pantagruel” illustrated by Gustave Doré×
The resemblance is clear. At Extremis, too, people like to question received ideas. They are not satisfied with rigid, middle-of-the road notions. Fired up by the urge to find things out and experience life, Extremis steps off the beaten path just like Rabelais. That is why Gargantua and Pantagruel are named after his most famous novels.
Gargantua, designed by Dirk Wynants back in 1994
Gargantua, designed by Dirk Wynants back in 1994×
Pantagruel, designed by Dirk Wynants in 2014
Pantagruel, designed by Dirk Wynants in 2014×
Of course it makes sense to recognise differences between young and old, work and private life, indoors and outdoors. But does it really make sense to emphasise these oppositions as well? Extremis is convinced that it does not. Concentrating too hard on oppositions leads to black-and-white thinking and limits the possibilities. That is completely against Extremis’ philosophy. The design company owes its 20-year reputation to what its founder and designer Dirk Wynants calls “Tools for Togetherness.” Extremis products are specially designed to bring people together… in an atmosphere of belonging together, never dividedness or exclusion. Extremis is open for diversity and welcomes differences, without losing sight of what fundamentally binds people together.
FROM PATIO TO LIVING ROOM, MEETING AREA AND OFFICE…
Don’t call a Marina table “just a picnic table.” Of course this phenomenal multipurpose piece of furniture with infinitely extendible profiles makes the perfect picnic table in every way. That was demonstrated with verve (and even with delightful sounds) at the Extremis stand. Visitors experienced firsthand all the other convincing possibilities that the Marina line has to offer. A gigantic Marina table cut across different zones (a garden zone, living zone and office zone), changing effortlessly as it went from a pleasant outdoor furnishing with benches into an ideal dining table with comfortable Captain’s chairs. Even more persuasive was the transition to a super-wide office desk, thanks to doubled-up profiles, including storage and computer screens. The multi-purpose nature of the table was further strengthened by a wide range of top-quality Captain's chairs, from specially designed outdoor seating to fully functional office chairs.
The Captain's seat is always the best seat
The Captain's seat is always the best seat×
That the Marina line offers perfect solutions in these different surroundings is absolutely not an empty slogan. Countless practical examples have proved it. Dirk Wynants began by testing out the possibilities successfully in his own home. But nowadays Extremis also gets more and more orders from innovative companies like Google, Apple and Microsoft. On their premises, too, people no longer draw sharp boundaries between work and play, concentration and daydreaming, achievement and relaxation. Because one thing is simply not possible without the other. The office environment is taking on more and more characteristics of a home environment with pleasant spots to meet and relax. Contact with the outdoors, the possibility of enjoying the view and fresh air, is a big attention-grabber. This confirms Extremis’ insights once again: let’s get rid of artificial oppositions: we want to feel at home and have fun at work, we also want suitable spaces to do our work well at home, and preferably without too much distinction between indoors and outdoors because, weather permitting, we do not want to feel shut up indoors all day. The Extremis range has been considering these possibilities for choice for many years!
IN PREMIERE! WALRUS, THE FIRST OUTDOOR SOFA
When Extremis was founded twenty years ago, the public were far less familiar than they are now with the idea of the outdoors as a real living space. Extremis was among the pioneers that tried to blur the boundaries between indoors and outdoors. Since then, countless other brands have cottoned on to the trend of the garden as a comfortably furnished ‘outdoor room.’ Sadly they cannot entirely live up to that promise with their trendy outdoor suites. At present there is not one single outdoor sofa on the market that lives up to Extremis’ high quality requirements.
But now this is about to change! In Milan Extremis introduced the public to a premiere viewing of the Walrus. It is named after the impressive mammal whose thick, smooth skin defies water, wind and heavy weather. The unique thing about this brand new design is the way it combines two materials to meet the apparently irreconcilable demands of superb comfort, aesthetics and weather-resistance.
The Walrus has a smooth, wipe-clean exterior with a soft and comfortable inside. Unzipping the Walrus sofa cushions will reveal a cosy resting place in the garden, all year round: your seat will always be dry, and what is more it is lovely and warm in the winter. On the outside you will find an extremely hardwearing material that does not absorb water or attract dirt. Its waterproof zips and rather corpulent shape help the water drain away fast. This keeps maintenance down to a minimum, so that once again you can be sure of getting a piece of furniture with the familiar Extremis quality and durability. Walrus saves you storage space indoors and, above all, a lot of time and effort. It is a real tool for togetherness: Walrus makes togetherness as pleasant as can be, all year round! This is what real innovation is all about.