After the pandemic forced many people to work from home, ergonomic desk chairs, dual monitor computer setups and other fixtures of corporate life became commonplace in domestic interiors. Now, we’ve come full circle. As businesses set out to redesign their spaces for a new era of work life, office furniture manufacturers are introducing softer products that borrow ideas from residential and hospitality interiors.
Consider the new partnership recently announced between Allsteel and Danish design brand Fritz Hansen. Thanks to the agreement, notable designs from Fritz Hansen’s portfolio are now available directly through Allsteel’s dealer network. (At their announcement event held in New York during November’s NYCXDesign festival, the two brands also hinted that their partnership may extend to additional collaborations in the future.)
While Allsteel already had a similar partnership in place with several other brands — including Normann Copenhagen, another Scandinavian manufacturer that offers a selection of living room-ready furnishings — this latest team-up is the office company’s clearest move yet to bring hygge-like comfort and character to professional settings.
Embracing the friendly curves of Danish living is one way to help the WFH crowd transition back to company headquarters — and marks a big departure from the office industry’s last attempt to become more homey during the 2010s, when a clubhouse-like aesthetic defined many Silicon Valley startups. Now, sophisticated statement seating has replaced ping pong tables as the newest way to reflect a company’s culture.
This line of thinking is on display throughout Allsteel’s recently refreshed New York showroom, where the brand demonstrates what a harmonious pairing of modular desk systems and Scandinavian design can look like. Upholstered in black leather, timeless Ant chairs and stools by Arne Jacobsen walk the line between corporate and comfortable, while pink Swan lounge chairs stationed opposite an executive desk add a welcome hit of softness. The partnership also grants access to contract offerings from Fritz Hansen’s Contemporary collection, including the high-back Plenum sofa.
Granted, many offices already executed this mix-and-match approach to formal and informal furnishings, but this new partnership makes it easier than ever to source products — and offers a clear reflection about Allsteel’s own vision of the office of the future being a lifestyle destination as much as a productivity space. In a big year for design brand mergers and team-ups, the office company’s latest partnership is another strategic alliance that looks poised to shake things up.
The office furniture manufacturer and Danish design brand strike a new alliance to bring soft Scandinavian curves to corporate environments.