Office furniture has, for a long time, been subject to an aesthetic power structure, communicating the perceived status of employee using it.
However, the corner office with its oversized desk and high-back swivel chair has become an outdated trope of success and corporate climbing in the modern workplace, creating an environment that isn’t conducive to collaboration across all levels of the business, ensuring that all voices are heard.
PORTS Storage divides open plan space while adding storage and collaboration tools.
It’s this that the new PORTS office concept from Bene aims to address. Referencing maritime, technological and management set-ups, PORTS looks to create a space that functions as an exchange, with each unit a hub part of a larger system.
This is manifested in a design line created by London-based studio Pearson Lloyd, focusing on three core areas – Table, Lounge and Storage, which can be combined to create a flexible space that offers both public and private, and relaxed and formal working arenas.
Luke Pearson and Tom Lloyd of Pearson Lloyd have previously collaborated with Bene on the PARCS office concept, in 2009. Photo: Andrea Hirsch
It’s in this flexibility that traditional leadership hierarchies are challenged within the new office design.
“The market for executive offices and furniture is still defined in terms of… old concepts of status, without considering the users’ needs,” says Tom Lloyd, cofounder of Pearson Lloyd. “The market has not changed for over a century.”
Room dividers both provide structure and offer a range of functional applications to support collaboration.
With a renewed focus on how workspaces look and operate a clear upshot of the coronavirus outbreak, it’s become apparent to some businesses that this is spatial hierarchy is not, actually, set in stone.
“The private office is slowly disappearing. And managers are becoming more open, collaborative, democratic – and younger,” explains Luke Pearson. “They need as much time and space as possible to plan how they will fulfil their responsibilities and to think creatively.”
The PORTS Power Tray offers convenient charging ports for a flexible work space.
The PORTS concept, already winner of the iF Gold Award 2020 and the ‘Best of Best’ Red Dot Design Award, is the latest collaboration between Bene and Pearson Lloyd, whose previous work together includes the 2009 PARCS collection.