VITRA work at orgatec 2018 blends boundaries of office and public spaces

VITRA work at orgatec 2018 blends boundaries of office and public spaces

at orgatec 2018, VITRA presents their interpretation of the modern office environment with ‘work 2018’. the project follows the concept first presented in 2016, but, this time, showcases how the boundaries of the office and public spaces are merging, rather than just the workplaces need for more flexible spaces and furniture. with both new and existing products, the swiss brand illustrates these scenarios in three innovative offices conceived by barber & osgerby, konstantin grcic and sevil peach.

entrance to VITRA work leads visitors to a park-like lobby
all images courtesy of VITRA



we are engaged in an incredibly positive shift in the way people work, especially in the merger of public and office spaces,explains pernilla ohrstedt, who, with jonathan olivares created the exhibition’s masterplan. ‘companies are starting to integrate this thinking into their practices, and VITRA are developing products that are specifically designed to function in those spaces.

the lobby features small presentations of the brand’s new products, such as the ‘rookie’ and ‘soft work’



situated within a dedicated hall at orgatec, VITRA ‘work 2018’ consists of a mini-urban environment that not only showcases their own portfolio of designs to enhance these new ideas for working, but also those of partner companies. these partners – 18 in total – include aircharge, artek, bulthaup, forbo flooring, gantner, gerriets, ideapaint, kvadrat soft cells, laufen, locatee, naava, panasonic, piaggo fast forward, rieder,, technogym, thingdust and wastberg. ‘VITRA is collaborating with many of these companies in their day-to-day projects. this is an opportunity for them to display everything needed to create a workplace, share ideas, and create a learning experience for each other and visitors,concludes ohrstedt.

visitors can pick up and read their ‘where to work better’ manifesto in the plaza



we created a silver border, rather than 2016’s horizon, that wraps around the exhibition and refers to architecture and cladding, as well as hinting that the project is on-going,details jonathan shows that this is one shared experience and, secondly, provides a backdrop that illuminates the vista between each part of the spaces.

a main street spans the width of the exhibition



visitors enter the exhibition through a forest towards the conventional lobby, which is designed more like a park. here, guests can relax, enjoy a coffee, and pick up and read the ‘where to work better’ publication, which highlights 10 manifesto points on the themes of work. the partner companies are on the left side of the main street, which runs up the entire space to the cafe, whilst the three unique workspaces are on the opposite side. ‘after 2016, we wanted to push VITRA’s notion of collages and showcase their portfolio’s ability to make really different spaces,’ explains olivares. ‘we wrote a brief that described three different companies – ones that would normally not exist side by side – and invited creatives to realize this.

shared office by barber & osgerby highlights the workplaces shift towards soft seating, rather than desks



the first – shared office by barber & osgerby – explores the reduced need for classic work desks and, in turn, the spread of the office to more public spaces such as lobbies. as well as accommodating furniture for all work functions, the main focus is on soft seating. debuting at the fair, the designer’s ‘soft work’ sofa system for VITRA responds to this need. its improved ergonomics – firmer cushions and a height raised to that of traditional chairs – and modular fittings – charging ports, partitions and work surfaces – enable people to actively, successfully and comfortably work in those environments.

the ‘soft work’ system is configured in linear and curved options, as well as with and without its accessories



the second – company home by sevil peach – visualizes a section of an imaginary corporate’s HQ and its brand aspirations and values. importantly, through harmonious architecture, materials and furniture, the space highlights how offices extend from their traditional boundaries and into the neighboring environment, such as an urban park or cafe. this physical and emotional connection with the city reinforces the young generation’s necessity for a sense of well-being as employees. at the same time, the area acts as a backdrop to the debut of the ‘AC5 group’ by antonio citterio, as well as showcasing the ‘eames fiberglass chair’ and artek products.

company home by sevil peach houses antonio citterio’s ‘suita’ sofa and maarten van severen’s ‘.03’ chair in new colors


the space reflects the bridging of offices and the public realm, including areas such as a cafe



the third – super flexible office by konstantin grcic – is all about creativity, communication and innovation. based on an imaginary company that has quadrupled in size in the last six months and does not know its exact directions, the space is highly adaptable and non-committal. users can simply and easily rearrange the office using dividers, mobile partitions, furniture on castors and stackable chairs – like the ‘stool-tool‘ which is a multi-functional solution that unites the table and chair into one object. the workplace’s identity remains per reconfiguration as the design explores grcic’s intrigue into creating without a definite layout. areas can be switched from a meeting room to a cafe, then tomorrow into a communal space. and highlighting this flexibility is the presentation of the designer’s flexible ‘rookie’ desk chair for VITRA.

the super flexible office by konstantin grcic facilitates an energetic and growing company’s need for adaptability



although we are repeating many elements from the first project in 2016, the exhibition feels completely different. our workplace is changing so rapidly that new ideas become familiar, and we need to re-enforce them and continue to develop functional products. one of the key ideas that we repeated is the partnerships with like-minded, non-competing companies that, along with VITRA, have reinvented the trade fair model. visitors can learn and engage with the real scenarios of work,concludes olivares.

the workplace includes the designer’s ‘stooltool’, ‘scala’ soft seating and ‘hack’ table products for VITRA


within a large space, smaller function-specific areas can be created spontaneously

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