Home / Work: Designing Productivity With Personality
Working from home? Meet the brands bridging the gap between our domestic and working lives.
As our working lives demand greater flexibility, the design of our offices and homes has seemingly begun a race to the middle. Contemporary commercial spaces soften the prospect of long hours by emulating the comforts of home, while areas purpose built for productivity have become a necessary feature of the places we live.
In Australia, close to a third of all employed people regularly work from home, according to figures released in 2016 by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). So, with 3.5 million agile professionals opting to clock in where they live, the 21st century home office needs to work as hard as we do. No longer is it feasible to simply take a corner of the dining table, today’s workforce requires dedicated functional spaces. Ideally with a little style – you never know when you might need to take an important video call.
Local furniture giant CULT are at the forefront of design which ticks both boxes. Beginning as Corporate Culture over twenty years ago, their origins as a commercial furniture specialist informs their current offering: smart furniture that brings added function to any setting. Their offshoot brand, NAU, represents the sum of CULT’s product development and manufacturing knowledge, in collaboration with celebrated Australian designers. One recently launched collection, Chameleon by Adam Goodrum, provides a customisable furniture solution robust enough for the workplace, with a range of finishes and sizes better suited to the home.
International workspace group Bene define the office as a living space in its own right, with a playful designs that introduce a sense of vitality and community to corporate interiors. Their award-winning Pixel system, designed by Christian Horner, is a kit of modular storage and seating components in ply – useful in small study nooks that perform double duty in the home, or for creating impromptu collaboration space in an activity-based office. Bene’s STUDIO range, by designer Thomas Feichtner, is similarly inspired by the fluidity of our work and personal lives. The double top desk conceals a discreet in-built shelf for maintaining a level of privacy in an open-plan workplace.
Run by an intrepid mother-daughter team, Sydney-based furniture house SeehoSu offers a curated collection of international design that appeals equally to home and office. Case in point, their Emily Chair, developed by Stockholm-based duo Fräg & Blanche for Gärsnäs. Though its plush quilted seat is comfortable, with a soft tactility you might expect in a home setting, its sophisticated form and options for wheeled or static bases give it the flexibility required in a commercial context.