2013 AZ Award Winner: Best Furniture System

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Design firm:
Manufacturer: Teknion

The layout of open concept workplaces tends to follow a familiar scheme: a vast, wall-free desk environment surrounded by boardrooms and offices with doors for private confabs. What happens, though, when you need something in between for those one-on-one consults or a quiet moment to yourself?

To address this issue, Teknion brought in designers Christopher Wright and Steve Tsai of Figure3, a Toronto firm that has already designed a handful of products for the Canadian office furniture manufacturer. Their latest line, Sidewise, is a brilliantly compact office system geared toward smaller, less formal workspaces for up to three in-house workers or freelancers on the go.

Every inch of this all-in-one system has been retooled to maximize functionality while taking up minimal real estate. It consists of four main components: desks that can be adjusted to different heights; a vertical console that slides out, providing hidden storage for coats, bags and files; and a technology bridge that connects every bit of work surface while tucking cables out of sight.

The standout feature, however, is a soft yet tailored recliner with integrated power and data access, which allows workers to recharge both electronically and emotionally. Flexible and aesthetically pleasing, Sidewise delivers a sophisticated option for fitting in some downtime while hard at work.

THE DESIGNERS  Christopher Wright is one of six principals who head up Figure3 in Toronto. The busy multi-disciplinary studio provides one-stop shopping expertise, from case goods design and consumer behaviour research to punchy retail environments, most recently seen in the new Simons store at the West Edmonton Mall. Steve Tsai is a senior team leader with the firm and an expert in 3‑D visualization.

What the jury said:
“Offices are an evolving landscape, and they are getting smaller, but Sidewise manages to do the opposite, giving staffers a place where they can comfortably take a break or interface with colleagues. That combination makes perfect sense.” 
– Todd Bracher, Todd Bracher Studio

­figure3.com, teknion.ca

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