Benchmark has entered the work/wellbeing market with a sit-stand desk that aims to bridge the gap between function and aesthetics. It is the first of several pieces Terence Conran’s design studio is developing for ‘the new workplace’.
The desk combines an automated system with a ‘skin’ that forms a tabletop, saddle stitched in vegetable-tanned leather; and a back panel, made from oak with a magnetised core so paper can be affixed to it.
“From our research into Public Health England guidelines, we found products that worked functionally, but had not been treated from an aesthetic point of view,” said Benchmark director Steve Owens. “They looked pretty standard and were unappealing office furniture.
“We saw a big gap [in the market] to present a beautiful and well-crafted desk that was also flexible in use.”
Benchmark is working with Base Interiors, The Furniture Practice and Benjamin West to develop products aimed at Gen Y and with a greater focus on collaboration, community and shared experiences.
“We see [these designs] working primarily in the commercial market, particularly if new directives come into force,” said Steve Owens. “Employers are seeing value in spending on certain ‘stand-out’ products and spending money on what counts – what functions, but also looks and feels good.”
The company is currently creating bespoke commissions from the new range for an up-and-coming tech company in Shoreditch, London, and a private members club in Berlin.