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    Editorial Images
    Theme story

    Designing the Social Workplace

    As many of us return to our physical workplace after years on hold, the way we use the office is rather radically transformed. This shift offers opportunity for reflection and new perspectives on work at large – to amplify the things we have missed the most; socializing, meeting in person, serendipitous interactions between tasks. So we ask ourselves, how do we reimagine the office to create more compelling places to meet, create and collaborate?

    We invited Jill Sundqvist, Head of Spatial Design at Muuto, to share her musings on designing the social workplace.

    Resurfacing from the suspended state of digital work life at the home office, we find ourselves with an opportunity to better address the needs of an increasingly nomadic workforce.

    For many of us, work has become something we can do from anywhere – a lobby, desk share, in transit or while juggling errands at home. Therefore, it might be worth asking: What is the home office unable to offer us – and how do we create workplaces that compel us to return to the office?

    • Oslo Lounge Colline 737 - Oslo Lounge w. Black Swivel Base in Twill Weave 990 - Oslo Sofa in Vidar 146 - Pebble Rug Light Grey
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    • Linear System Modular Table Configuration 3 Oak

    Turning the question on its head, we might ask ourselves what kind of meetings we’d like to see after two years of seeing our colleagues from neck and up. How can we facilitate these to create an office that truly speaks to our needs?

     

    DIVERSIFYING THE SCENE
    The diversity of tasks we now perform throughout the day begs an equally wide range of milieus, from quiet places for working in solitude or intimate collaboration to bustling spaces to brainstorm, perform and connect.

    Outline Sofa Highback 1-Seater in Twill Weave 230, Outline Highback 2-Seater in Twill Weave 530, Around Small Light Blue, Around Large Dark Green, Rime Pendant
    By embracing our differences – we all create differently, after all – we can devise an agile workplace with many in mind.

    Considering a range of situations is essential; reclined, seated or standing, formal or informal, quick or extended period of use. These elements all play into setting a dynamic scene where we work and gather, says Jill.

    If the home office has taught us something, it is the need for a change of scenery and of course, places to more freely create and meet. Take cue from hospitality to make spaces that poignantly invite social interaction – in the form of a low-seated lounge for casual team briefings, a community table for lunch or a deskshare with adaptable options that speak to the user’s aesthetics and personal needs.

    • Linear System Modular Table Configuration 2 Oak
    • Cover Lounge Chair in Midnight Blue -  Soft Side Table H:40 45x45 cm in Off-White/Solid Oak - Enfold Low in Grey - Echo Pouf 42x62 cm in Divina 224
    Work is no longer a place you simply go to, but rather an experience to seek in both the office and at home.

    A SENSE OF HOME AT WORK
    At its very core, hospitality implies an inherent warmth and a welcoming sensation. As we have grown accustomed to the comforts of home, we look to bring a residential feel into our workplace.

    ​​It’s all about creating an inviting atmosphere through warmer materiality, color, tactility, textiles and natural elements such as greenery and cut flowers. Together these add something unexpected and evocative to an interior, intuitively bridging the gap between the home and the office, says Jill.

    • Sketch Toolbox in Burnt Orange - Fiber Side Chair w. Grey Swivel Base in Twill Weave 620 - Linear System Table in Oak - Tip Table Lamp in Grey - Piton Portable Lamp in Black - Workshop Chair in Black
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    • Editorial Images
    • Flow Trolley 3-Layer in Grey, Workshop Table in Oak/Warm Grey, Fiber Side Chair w. Swivel Base in Grey and Twill Weave 620, Story Pinboard, Linear Pendant

    Embracing rounded shapes and upholstered seats softens the interior, while enhancing comfort and underscoring a sense of home. Naturally, all of these elements also allow a brand or company to more holistically express their identity throughout a space.

    Striking statement pieces such as the sculptural Fiber Armchair or Ridge Vase add character and richness to an interior. For example, oversized pendants can become a guiding element in larger spaces, bringing intimacy and harmony to a setting. Arrange them in clusters for an eclectic look or in linear formations for a more formal expression.

    Fiber Side Chair Tube Base - Grey/Grey, Base Table 250 x 90 cm - Oak Veneer/Black, Strand Pendant Lamp, Halves Side Table - Sage Green, Ridge Vase H 16,5 cm - Beige, Raise - Indigo, Flow Trolley - Grey

    BUSTLING SOCIAL FOCAL POINTS
    Hospitality in the office is about creating places around which we revolve, the “sugarcubes'' we are drawn to, places of convergence and where we want to spend time.

    Touchdown spaces with flexible and mobile seating such as the Echo Pouf allow people to easily create their own scene, while the flexibility of the Linear System allows for people to both meet in teams and withdraw to do concentrated work on their own.

    Outline Highback 2-Seater H45 Vidar 222, Vidar 363, Relate Side Table, Echo Pouf, Rime Pendant Black
    Linear System Modular Table Configuration 1 White/Laminate/Oak

    Areas welcoming multiple ways of use, seated or standing, alone or together, make for a more dynamic workplace. These engage and enable us to create more intimate settings in a larger space, making a distinct mark on our immediate environment.

    Today, we no longer merely eat in the office canteens – they have become an arena for informal meetings where we socialize with colleagues, says Jill.

    • Loft Chair w. Armrest Deep Red/Oak Steelcut 140, Loft Bar Stool 75 cm Deep Red/Oak Steelcut 140, Base Table 190x85 cm Oak Veneer/Black, Raise Glasses, Ambit Light Blue
    In the often generic setting of a canteen, I think playful lighting and accessories can create a more personal feel, combining function with strong aesthetic qualities, says Jill.

    Atmosphere and comfort are key when we set the scene for a morning meeting or lunch, from the embrace of an upholstered chair to functional and informal benches.

    Muuto’s extensive collection of furniture, accessories and lighting allows one to create flexible, contemporary spaces with a distinctive sense of homeliness, be it quiet and touchdown spaces or agile places for co-working and desk sharing.

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