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A Design Story: So Simple Office

Vol. 3

When creating the SO System, we tried to take into consideration the needs and requests of the contemporary Office environment. And at the same time, we had to focus on the needs and demands of the market. When designing for Ersa, we had to consider a global market. So, it was not easy to define a specific office; because, altough living in a global world, we have different attitudes, different expectations and companies with different structures, different typologies of employees.

I To design a new office system, we had tokeep in mind these various configurations. The secret, in my opinion, is not to force toomuch in one direction in design principle; but to understand that in this globalized worldthere is a multitude of employee typologies from different cultures. So, basically, we have to follow a form of “light thinking”; which means to provide an operative system where we are reducing as much as we can the components and details that are not really needed. And to come with a platform that is single, functional, clean and clear that can be used and personalized in different ways. To put it in single way; a basic system that can be enriched with personal details and needs. The accessories, that are not the necessary components of the furniture can all be personalized. 

I find some furniture systems in the market to be “overdesigned” in this respect. That is to say, interesting to be looked at, but not practical to work with... We believe that steel is a very nice material to work with.Because it gives a sense of quality and durability. It allowed us to create a very light, clean and durable design language with a lot of quality. We also used melanine on the top; it is a basic, standard but efficient solution. The frame can also be configured with a glass top, which makes it look more elegant and more intriguing.

In terms of color choices, we tried to play the same basic principles. We are using a basic white and a basic black color. One single color for the top, for the frame and the accessory units. Then, we add a color accent; yellow, blue or green in small details. But the basic system is monochromatic. Because a real working environment is already full of colors and colorful details. We strongly believe that a contemporary Office furniture system should not be overcharged with colors that create confusion in the space. 

We decided to work on a basic system that offers as much as it can in terms of strength, stability and lightness. As a result, we created a feasible and interesting structure, that is, at the same time very simple to be produced and cost effective and inevitably comfortable!

To be basic, we did not include in the SO System components like a box with drawers that are not used at all or used in a wrong way. instead, we focused on more peculiar needs from the legs to the regular unit standing on the floor. For example, we see many visitors coming to the offices from outside and we observe that they leave their bags or other stuff on the floor because they can’t find places to fit them in the office. Also, we see office employees working with their stuff on the floor or on another empty chair. From this observation, we came up with the idea to create a special unit for people to fit their personal stuff. That is why we provided the desk with a frontal area. that is open and close to the employeee. The other units like the top and the tray also have specific purposes. With the drawers, we tried to create an hybrid unit that can be used for different specific needs.

When designing the table, we tried to create a very “clean” relationship with the floor; that is to say, which would make the environment very easy to clean. We tried to create a dynamic structure that gives the impression of being suspended in the air and also to suggest a simple solution for the table anagement: a clean desk with a cable tray...And when you consider the fact that we use less paper and big files in modern offices. So on the third level, we didn’t dedicate large spaces for paper or hardcopy files on the desk. The desk has been designed to keep more personal stuff than unused Office material, which makes it smaller compared to standard models you see in the market. In sum, to make the desk look like a small personal cabinet was our main objective...

We had to offer a solution, to be flexible, to optimize the delivery, to reduce components so that the architect could easily plan to configure the product, to take intoconsideration the timing for the delivery, to plan fit the product easily in a location,to save cost and time. Our system should take into consideration all these aspects...

So, the key to a successful product is not only good design, but also a good and deepdevelopment process.

The language we are using for the legs is  very simple and basic but also quite original. Originality and differenciation were our key concepts... A simple thinking, a simple frame structure. The dynamic effect of lightness and strenght at the same time... A single user has to feel comfortable on the furniture, but at the same time, we are thinking about the connectivity of the people working together in the same place; in a nice and comfortable environment. Two apparently different needs considered together under the same principles.

Vol. 3
Mert Sandalcı Interview Ayşenur Arslanoğlu - Puppets