Premium Swiss manufacturer USM shows how to rework an iconic design the right way with the electrification of its classic USM HALLER. Power to the people!
USM Haller E – a Swiss furniture classic seen in a new light. It can illuminate not just the shelves themselves, but also the surrounding space
USM Haller E – a Swiss furniture classic seen in a new light. It can illuminate not just the shelves themselves, but also the surrounding space×
Over the years, the USM Haller modular furniture system, developed in collaboration with Fritz Haller, has advanced to the status of a design classic. It is timeless, functional, and can be expanded and adapted at will. Since the 1960s, it has been firmly ensconced in offices and living spaces. This raises the question of whether such a furniture icon holds the potential for further development. And a clearly affirmative answer is offered by the new USM Haller E system, which integrates light and energy in a nearly invisible manner. The Haller shelving solution changes with the times, while its time-proven design remains constant.
Presenting beautiful things in the proper light. The USM Haller modular furniture system can serve at once as storage space and display case
Presenting beautiful things in the proper light. The USM Haller modular furniture system can serve at once as storage space and display case×
Shelves today can be much more than just a place to accommodate or store things. But how can a classic be newly imagined without alteration of its basic principles? Seven years of development went into the technical realisation of USM Haller E, because the parameters were set narrowly and the demands and expectations were high. For the first time, light wasn’t just adapted, as had been the case with the USM Haller glass cabinets, but was integrated. This is a decisive criterion: in the Haller E system, the entire power supply runs within the structure, cordless and virtually invisible.
Integrated lighting ensures the right presentation in a retail setting or a better overview of one’s own wardrobe
Integrated lighting ensures the right presentation in a retail setting or a better overview of one’s own wardrobe×
A fundamental principle of the USM Haller furniture system is its modular construction of steel tubes connected by the iconic, patented steel ball joints. These components have been further developed into cordless electric conductors, so-called e-Elements. A flat mains adapter that can be slid elegantly under the shelving feeds power into the e-Ball joint, from which it flows through the shelving structure. Since no cords are needed for the electricity conduction, the compatibility of all the elements within the e-System is preserved – these can be exchanged and combined with uncompromised flexibility.
The power supply is integrated in the structure of the shelves and nearly invisible. Lamp and USB inserts are snapped into place flush, and are hardly noticeable when turned off
The power supply is integrated in the structure of the shelves and nearly invisible. Lamp and USB inserts are snapped into place flush, and are hardly noticeable when turned off×
At first glance, this enhancement is hardly noticeable, as the new elements are simply snapped flush into recesses provided in the steel tubing. The effect is all the greater for its underlying technical subtlety: a play of different lighting scenarios allows varied illumination of the surrounding space and the shelving itself, casting the furniture in a new light in the truest sense.
Independently controllable circuits offer various light-design possibilities. A practical feature: the interior is automatically illuminated when the drawers and hinged doors are opened
Independently controllable circuits offer various light-design possibilities. A practical feature: the interior is automatically illuminated when the drawers and hinged doors are opened×
The system comes with dimmable lamps, in either warm or cool white, which provide accentuated or diffuse lighting that can be variably directed. This allows a single element or object in the shelves to be highlighted, the room to be illuminated, or light to be reflected to atmospheric effect. When mounted on the underside of the shelves, the lamps can serve the purpose of orientation. Used in enclosed compartments, they are automatically switched on by a sensor to provide interior illumination when the drawer or door is opened.
Alternatively to the lamps, the recesses in the tubes can accommodate either USB chargers for mobile devices or dummy elements. In the case of changing uses over time, for example, dummies can be initially inserted and later replaced by lamp or USB elements. In this way, the shelf system remains responsive to individual wishes and needs, very much in its original spirit of flexible modularity.
Instead of lamps, USB chargers can be inserted, making the furniture into a charging station for mobile devices
Instead of lamps, USB chargers can be inserted, making the furniture into a charging station for mobile devices×
The new edition of the USM Haller is much more than mere storage space – it is at once a luminary and a charging station, serves needs of presentation and spatial orientation, and creates atmosphere. For the developers at the Swiss company, however, it represents just a first step. Advancing digitisation will introduce many additional uses and functions that can be integrated over the longer term. Research is, in fact, already underway on a mobile control application, the incorporation of touch-sensitive surfaces, and programmable lighting schemes. To the question of what all a shelf system can be in the future, further exciting answers are surely in store.