loading video...

steelcase sets up cozy comfort in the office with two work tents

steelcase brings camping into the office

 

Steelcase brings core childhood memories back by re-contextualizing the office with its Pod and Overhead tents. A sense of cozy comfort and protection is the company’s goal as it puts up the lightweight, flexible structures. Easy to move around, the tents block visual distractions, but also create sheltered privacy, supporting the resilient changing norms of hybrid working. 

steelcase sets up cozy comfort in the office with two work tents
Steelcase brings the outdoors into the workspace with the Pod Tent (above) and Overhead Tent

all images courtesy of Steelcase

 

 

The initial study of the project began with researchers from the University of Wisconsin and revolved around privacy and finding solutions that were inexpensive and light in scale. Following extensive exploration on a variety of shapes and materials, the office furniture manufacturers reached out to Chris Pottinger – industrial designer of outdoors equipment for companies like North Face and Big Agnes. The collaboration led to the Pod Tent and Overhead Tent, which besides functionality also offer a trustworthy comfort and seclusion. 

 

 

‘Tents inherently make you feel comfortable and safe when you’re inside of them. The idea of bringing tents to the workplace is so innovative and something I had to be a part of,’ says designer Chris Pottinger.

steelcase sets up cozy comfort in the office with two work tents
the Overhead Tent offers a lighter alternative to the work enclave

 

 

intense engineering and design experiments

 

Although simple looking, Steelcase soon discovered that creating a tent required a whole new approach. Intense design experiments, engineering testing, and construction trials on tensile stresses were a must to understand how the bending and compression can affect the entire purpose of the structure. Initially, the team crafted small scale prototypes using pipe cleaners, string and duct tape, which helped speed up the perception of how dynamic and flexible, shape-wise, the products would be.

 

 

‘Steelcase is really good at designing objects with hard surfaces, such as wood ​and steel. This is different. Using new materials allowed for ​more possibilities in the design,’ continues Chris Pottinger. 

steelcase sets up cozy comfort in the office with two work tents
the Pod Tent was partially inspired by the Gherkin building in London, by Foster + Partners

 

 

the pod tend & overhead tent offer private comfort at work

 

The Pod Tent was specifically inspired by the iconic Gherkin building in London, England, by architects Foster + Partners. Similarly, the tent is fashioned with an aluminum exoskeleton overlaying the wide mouth, open-air roof, offering just the right level of visual privacy and comfort, while letting light coming in. 

 

steelcase-pod-overhead-tent-designboom-fullwidth

Steelcase reached out to industrial designer Chris Pottinger for the creation of the two structures

 

Like a gently curving pergola, the Overhead Tent provides an ideal lounge for small collaborative settings in an open plan. The flexible aluminum frame makes the whole structure lighter and easier to move around, supporting the resilient workspace needed for hybrid work. The tent comes in Arctic White, Platinum or Sterling Sheer textile options.

 

 

‘As we started the adventure to bring Work Tents to the office, we realized that such an innovative concept needed a new materiality. Our focus on different layers of shelter and privacy brought us in the direction of opaque to semi-transparent options. Our research in the outdoor realm brought us to a light-weight fabric that we called Ascent. This fabric provides a high level of visual privacy while remaining extremely light. To complement the adventurous spirit of Ascent, Sheer came into being to bring a cocooning touch to the Work Tent experience. This trans-lucent fabric provides just the right level of visual privacy and comfort, while letting light coming in. Era completes the offer by bringing over 20 different color options to play with,’ adds Steelcase. 

steelcase sets up cozy comfort in the office with two work tents
the Overhead Tent provides an ideal lounge for small collaborative settings in an open plan

steelcase sets up cozy comfort in the office with two work tents
after months of tinkering and testing, iterating and imagining, the project was completed

steelcase sets up cozy comfort in the office with two work tents
the Tents offer a perfect solution for anyone who needs a little control over their privacy at work

steelcase sets up cozy comfort in the office with two work tents
the Pod Tent is fashioned with an aluminum exoskeleton overlaying the wide mouth, open-air roof

steelcase-pod-overhead-tent-designboom-fullwidth02

the team did an exploration of shapes, materials and functionality and recalled the psychological comfort and feelings of safety inside a tent

steelcase sets up cozy comfort in the office with two work tents
this trans-lucent fabric provides just the right level of visual privacy and comfort

 

1/4
An exposed and flexible aluminum frame provides the highly stable framework for the organic shape while adding a unique visual aesthetic
An exposed and flexible aluminum frame provides the highly stable framework for the organic shape while adding a unique visual aesthetic
Available in a wide array of sheer and opaque fabrics, Pod Tent can be specified in either one color or color-blocked
Available in a wide array of sheer and opaque fabrics, Pod Tent can be specified in either one color or color-blocked
Built-in handles on the freestanding base makes it easy to move Overhead Tent around a floor plan, while allowing for variations in height and width.
Built-in handles on the freestanding base makes it easy to move Overhead Tent around a floor plan, while allowing for variations in height and width.
Plastic connection points are strategically placed to secure the frame, helping to keep the shape intact
Plastic connection points are strategically placed to secure the frame, helping to keep the shape intact

project info:

 

brand: Steelcase /@steelcase

products: Overhead Tent; Pod Tent

research: University of Wisconsin

designer: Chris Pottinger 

PRODUCT LIBRARY

a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

designboom will always be there for you

milan, new york, beijing, tokyo,  since 1999
X
5