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Flexible Haven: Next-Gen Office Furniture

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In the ever-evolving landscape of office design, the concept of the hybrid work era is taking shape, and it’s all about flexibility, collaboration, and comfort. Mike & Maaike, an industrial design studio led by husband-and-wife duo Mike Simonian and Maaike Evers, is at the forefront of this shift with their latest furniture collection, Haven.

Unveiled at Chicago’s NeoCon trade show, Haven offers a glimpse into the future of office spaces, where round edges and flexible setups reign supreme. According to Evers, workspaces are no longer just individual domains; they are evolving into collaborative hubs. This ethos is reflected in Haven’s design, where every piece of furniture, from meeting tables to coffee tables, boasts rounded edges, inviting inclusivity and fostering a sense of belonging.

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The choice of round tables is strategic, as they symbolize openness and equality, reminiscent of King Arthur’s Round Table. Studies have shown that circular seating arrangements promote a greater sense of community and connection, making them ideal for collaborative environments. In line with this, Haven features tall tables that don’t require chairs, removing barriers to joining conversations and encouraging spontaneous interactions.

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Flexibility is key in Haven’s design, with two-seater benches that offer personal space in between. These benches can be equipped with trays, swiveling tables, or minimalist lamps with charging ports, catering to transient moments in breakout areas or hallways. As traditional offices transition to hybrid formats, where remote work is common, personal desks may become obsolete. Haven’s adaptable design meets this shift, providing a sense of home in shared spaces.

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The ideas behind Haven were conceived even before the pandemic, but the events of the past few years have accelerated the need for flexible workspaces. Mike & Maaike’s experience at Google’s research and development facility, X, has informed their understanding of this trend. Moving forward, the duo plans to expand Haven’s offerings to include storage solutions, lighting options, and more personalized workspaces.

In conclusion, Haven represents a thoughtful and forward-thinking approach to office design in the hybrid work era. By embracing flexibility, collaboration, and comfort, Mike & Maaike’s collection paves the way for a new era of workspaces that prioritize inclusivity and adaptability.

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