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Contract furniture-maker Pair came prepared when it launched in the spring of 2019. Armed with a fully realized portfolio of intuitive and adaptable products aimed at addressing the needs of modern workspaces, the San Francisco–based brand was immediately established as a new source in the contract industry. 

Having previously co-owned and -operated the furniture showroom Two, Pair’s founders, Brian Wilson and Brian Buhl, were privy to the needs and wants of designers, what they often struggled to find and, ultimately, what had been missing from the market.

This insider perspective led the duo to think beyond the “open-office versus closed-office debate” and develop a burgeoning family of products that have the ability to effortlessly meet the physical demands of today’s ever-evolving workspaces. Recognizing that privacy is once again prized, Pair included Toast, designed by Austin-based Studio Hopkins, among its inaugural offerings. Though its name may be a little curious, its function is without question.

“Beautiful, simple, pared-down design that would integrate into a wide variety of spaces.”
Stephanie Davidson

An acoustic panel divider that can be applied vertically and horizontally, Toast weighs in at a mere four and a half kilograms, making it easy to move from place to place as required, without the need for tools or much assistance. A second but no less important mandate that Pair included in its mission statement is an attempt to be as environmentally conscious as possible. This approach is reflected in Toast’s makeup — a wool-wrapped recycled polyester board, sustainably sourced with no added urea formaldehyde. The durable material has the ability to “bounce back” if impacted, and can also serve as a convenient tackable surface for brainstorming sessions.

And, aesthetically speaking, Toast is as pure as it gets. Free of fussy detailing, the frameless boards have nearly invisible edge seams and are available in a palette of both cheerful and refined colourways; an accompanying laser-cut recyclable steel tension stand — whose shape resembles the toast stand from which the panel system derives its playful name — can be powder-coated to match or contrast its softer partner.

Lightweight, attractive, versatile and practical, Toast is a laudable example of how a little forethought, creativity and resourcefulness can go a long way.

AZ Awards Category Design: Interior Products Designer Studio Hopkins, Austin, U.S. Manufacturer Pair, San Francisco, U.S.

AZ Awards 2020 Winner: Toast

Flexible, sustainable, attractive and practical, this office system by Pair and Studio Hopkins swept the Design: Interior Products category.

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