By now it is well understood that the contemporary workplace deals in flexibility. Both work hours and the very ways in which we work are shifting to accommodate an increasingly millennial workforce whose hyper-connectivity and preference for collaborative, social work environments are fast becoming the norm. The days in which office work meant isolation within a grey-walled cubicle for eight hours are fast falling behind us, and in their place emerging a contemporary culture that emphasises teamwork, adaptability, and challenging the status quo.
The ripples caused by the shifting attitudes surrounding office culture have been felt in terms of changing work habits, which in turn have made waves in the very design and layout of today’s offices. Contemporary offices are often divided into different workspaces or areas that meet the changing needs of workers at various points in the workday. They frequently have their own kitchen and dining area, as well as dedicated break out areas, meeting spaces, and collaborative work zones.
Though appealing, dedicating spaces to a single set use is at times impractical: restrictions on space may mean that one space may have to meet many different needs. In other scenarios, teams may be too small to justify setting aside space for a function that is only required at intermittent points during the working week.
Enter Wing, a table designed by Parisotto & Formenton for True, to adapt to the changing demands of today’s workplace within a compact, stylish envelope. Available in three different sizes to suit workplaces of all scales, Wing transforms what is conventionally one of the most static workspaces – the table – into a site of many varied uses.
Exhibited in its prototype form in Milan this year, Wing is poised to lead the commercial furniture specification market in 2018, and it is not difficult to see why. Sleek, chic, and contemporary, with the warmth of traditional timber furniture, Wing draws its inspiration from the sawhorse shape of yesterday’s worktables. A smooth table top in oakwood or American walnut with curved corners and a gently angled edge that makes sitting and working more comfortable than ever rests atop a timber frame, which is grounded by sturdy, solid timber legs.
Wing’s wide table top is ideal for team brainstorming sessions or work requiring a collaborative approach, but also lends itself to unrivalled – and, at times, unexpected – flexibility. Slots in-built into the centre of the table accommodate colourful acoustic pads which attenuate noise and act as dividers when privacy or smaller, simultaneous workspaces are required. The same slots also allow for the easy mounting of a centrepiece brass reading lamp, while the angled table top edge makes sliding additional acoustic pads onto the long edge of the table a breeze.
Inspired by the Parisotto and Formenton studio saw horses, the table is decidedly stately, abandoning pretension to better accommodate its utility-driven design resolution. Further additional elements including the privacy screens, cable storage and integrated tech, lamps, acoustic panels and pads, all combine to attest to Wing's consciousness of the struggles contemporary workers face daily, and the role that A+D can play with intelligent design responses future-proofed against the culture of ephemeral fads:
"We are aware that everything around us is ageing well before us, in consumer degradation. Today, what is fashionable is dated, hopelessly outdated, already at his appearance."
– True Design.
Once the workday is over, the lamp or panels can be replaced with trays that hold snacks or nibbles, or removed entirely to make way for a team dinner or wining and dining with clients. The next morning, Wing can be wiped clean and the suitable attachments slid back into place, ready for another day in the office.