Principles, OMA’s new furniture collection for Unifor, was originally designed for the Axel Springer Campus in Berlin. But the Italian furniture manufacturer (a brand of the Molteni Group) has expanded the line to over 100 elements that, together, are meant to evoke a middle ground between stuffy cubicle and Googleplex playground. The elements come in sizes S, M, L, and XL, which, of course, references the title of a now-iconic monograph that the firm published with Bruce Mau.
With Principles, the renowned, Rem Koolhaas-led architecture studio has created office furnishings that feel robust yet malleable. They include everything from rectangular conference tables and circular shelving to cylindrical meeting pods and a variety of soft seating.
Principles’ curved partition walls form the “spines” of the collection; they can be joined to form individual pods for private calls and focused work, or semi-secluded nooks for smaller meetings. There are also desks with double tops so that you can meet, work or eat at them while also having storage space.
Ultimate flexibility was the key. “Straight and curved partition panels join to form individual nooks for private calls and focused work, or semi-secluded areas to meet and discuss with others, while ring-shaped sofas, donuts and soft islands allow people to get together and interact in a more informal manner,” the firm explains.
The pieces incorporate sound-absorbing materials and power outlets. But one of the most enticing aspects of OMA’s furniture series for Unifor is its bold use of colour and unusual curves — the collection of “micro-architectures” stands out for its aesthetic appeal as much as for its sheer versatility.
And that attention to detail is the result of OMA’s research into new materials: “Fabric for high-tech sportswear, extra-thick colour core laminates in carefully selected tones, and specially designed microperforated sheet metals for acoustic performing surface have been deployed to create the highly functional furniture,” the firm explains.
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Presented during Milan Design Week, the Principles furniture collection by Dutch architecture firm OMA for Italian manufacturer Unifor has a multitude of variations.