The cube farm has been put out to pasture. Workspaces once defined by walls and personal desks have progressed over the past few years, transforming into a spread of ever-evolving environments. Interior neighborhoods, lounges, teaming areas and spaces for regrouping and discussion are the new driving force behind modern commercial offices. Our Barlow Collection was born from a desire to create space-efficient community tables that encourage this growing push for openness in the work space while adding some much-needed ease to every-day work life. Designed for on-the-fly meetings, small collaborations and solo workers, the eye-catching Barlow standing height table and tall coffee table are personal and quaint – perfect for the open range office of today.
Though packed with a punch of conveniences, these tables step beyond the limits of utility, raising the aesthetic bar for workspace furniture. A romance between soft curves and harsh lines, the Barlow tables are as dynamic as they are balanced. With legs cut from steel sheets, the silhouettes of both tables evolve when admired in the round. Legs slender when faced from the outer edge turn solid and graphic when seen from profile. Yet, it is the wood that grounds these pieces. With a visual softness found through the wood’s natural tones and textures a pleasant contrast is generated, creating a sense of place where the two materials finally meet. As the steel cuts through the lower shelf the designs become centered, accentuating the strength of the steel’s edges and steadfast nature of the warm wood.
With smaller surface areas comes a higher need for intelligent design as every inch counts. In an effort to maximize the user’s comfort and the tables’ usability, observations were made on how people utilize more intimate meeting spaces, honing in on their needs, tendencies and habits. Cafes, bars, smaller teaming tables…all ended in a very similar story – cluttered tabletops and personal belongings on the ground. It was essential this not be the outcome of using the Barlow standing height table.
The list of the extra items needed on a daily basis is lengthy with laptop bags, backpacks, rain jackets and lunches. And though these items do not belong on the tabletop that shouldn't mean they be relegated to the floor. We tackled this quandary by adding three hooks to the inside of the steel base, giving these items a well-deserved place to hang while keeping the table’s center of gravity constant. Continuing this theme we added a lower shelf to provide additional room for non-hanging personal effects, leaving the floor clear and all items safely stored within reach.
As for the coffee table, though it has no hooks it has its benefits, housing the same lower shelf found on its standing height counterpart and sitting at a taller height of 24”. In lounge-like work spaces normal coffee tables leave people with hunched backs and knotted shoulders. By raising this surface users can easily meet, work and converse without sacrificing posture or comfort. We find that comfort does not always have to be a complicated game; sometimes it is as simple as easily getting your bag out of the way, working from a couch or conveniently charging your phone.
Chargers and tangled cords have a tendency to take up more of a table than the laptops to which they belong. With technology being a constant necessity in the work place, it was crucial to not only make these tables power compatible, but to also create an easy way to manage the mess. Pulling the power units and USB ports down into the lower shelves allows users to clean up shop and focus on the work. Additional hooks were added below the lower shelf to manage the tables’ power cords, allowing for discrete management of leftover slack. Cords are often a forgotten element, in effect causing the focus to shift from the crisp design to the tangled mess instead. By bringing technology into play from the start, we’ve created a silhouette that remains unhampered even when dealing with data.
As with all good designs, the strengths lie in the details. Though there is a second half to this sentence that often goes unwritten. Strength doesn’t just lie in the details of the pieces themselves but in how they cater to the minute details of our lives. The Barlow Collection lives to satisfy these needs and strives to add ease to the ever-chaotic workday. So, let the Barlow Collection hold your belongings, charge your technology and carry your meetings - after all, it was built to make your work life easier.