How do we regain collective trust in public places? As we saw the might of isolation soaring throughout 2020-21, we find ourselves awkwardly reconnecting in the workplace, in third spaces, and at planned gatherings. How can furniture act as a nudge, a subtle facilitator for comradery as we return to work and public places? Together with +Halle, we explored these questions throughout a year-long briefing.
+Halle brings together designers and experts in academia to kick off each year’s Annual Briefing. For Annual Briefing #2, we centered around the theme of “Sharing.” Together with +Halle, the design and architecture studio Snohetta, and experts in communal spaces, we investigated many ways for furniture to encourage moments of sharing. Throughout the process, we at FUWL harkened back to familiar moments like sitting around a campfire or naturally gathering in a circle at a team huddle to inform our design exploration.
The result is Picnic, a new communal seating range that dresses up and transforms the familiar outdoor inspiration into a warm and simple gathering point indoors. With small means, Picnic offers people the opportunity to sit up high, lean on, and gather from 2 to 6, shoulder to shoulder, around a campfire of sorts. Its design affords people the opportunity to manoeuvre in and around it, much like its wooden counterpart.
The decision to make the range exclusively round and with fixed seating allows for Picnic-tables to be easily placed in high traffic areas as well as avoid clutter. It’s a collection for the workspaces we are coming back to where sharing and collaborating are key.