3. In what kind of spaces do the PhoneBox, Niche and StandAlone work best?
Open spaces where people are in need of private space, peace & quiet and a secure feeling to communicate freely on their phone or being able to concentrate. Nowadays you see so many open and exposed spaces – like corporate offices, public service buildings, airports, hospitals, hotels with reception and lounge areas – where different types of activities and work are being done. But you need the right furniture to support that, our designs for Prooff fit into that niche!
4. What do you reckon had a big influence on the change in workspaces over the past decade?
Digital technology for sure, especially communication on the move and having work at your fingertips at all times through mobile phones, laptops, tablets and apps. Technology gave us more mobility in and outside of the office. But the downside is that they provide “noise pollution” which affects the people around us. That is why we believe in strong acoustic solutions and incorporated this in all our designs for Prooff, which boosts wellbeing by providing comfortable and quiet environments.
5. What is the acoustic value of the PhoneBox and Niche?
The PhoneBox and Niche provide a designated space for private conversations and doing focus work within the open environment. In order to do these activities and have a good experience you need really good acoustics, which is what most open plan offices lack. Together with acoustics experts we studied how the Niche and PhoneBox behave when simulating real-time noise pollution at work and in the public spaces. Together with Prooff we improved the designs with an emphasis on comfort & tranquility.
The PhoneBox offers 5dB acoustic isolation and the Niche 17dB (reference: with an acoustic isolation of 10 dB the user experiences half the background noise).
6. There is a high demand for flexibility in workspaces. How do you deal with this as a designer?
Yes, there is a lot more uncertainty within organizations these days about where they will be in a couple of months or years. And this doubt is mirrored in a high demand for flexibility. As a designer you can definitely respond to and support that need. Take for example the Niche: this compact and modular design can easily be moved and arranged into different configurations. From having just a single Niche, to a whole wing with sets of Niches. This way you can make adjustments instantly and adapt to the business requirements and functional needs of the space.
7. What do you think of Activity Based Working?
We don’t really actively use that term when designing, but we do work with the same principles. The furniture designs and interiors we create support an active way of working as opposed to being ‘’glued to the desk”. The right space and product design enables organizations and people to move easily between open and silent spaces for activities such as face-to-face meetings, focus tasks, taking calls, checking your email, having co-creating sessions, just meeting up or to simply take a break from it all.
8. When designing for the ever changing workspace which other key elements do you keep in mind?
That the furniture solution needs to support the lifestyles of our future workforce, generation Z (and beyond), and also support the other generations within the workspace. It should act as a coagulant, bridging the gap between all of the different people at work and aid in co-creation. We also see a big opportunity for integrating the insight digital technologies offers, from the early stages of the design process to actual use of the furniture, like Virtual Reality. Check out the Niche and StandAlone in the VR workspace Prooff launched!
9. How important is craftsmanship and sustainability in your design practice?
We believe it is very important to preserve the knowledge craftsmen have and we have found our match in Prooff in regards to this as well. All of their products are being made, to order, in The Netherlands by highly skilled craftsmen and exude quality, ‘’slow design’’ and sustainability.
10. Tell me more about your vision on sustainability?
The future is ecology, having a holistic outlook on the process of design, production, use and end-of-life is really important to AXIA Design. As a designer it is your prerogative to have a big impact on a more sustainable world when adding more products and interiors to it. Besides using natural, renewable and low-energy resources you could also provide clients and manufacturers (anywhere in the world) a digital template of the product, called Open Making. By including local manufactures you stimulate the upkeep of craft knowledge, the local economy, share insight and make it easier to repair and renew products locally.
2016 signifies our 10 year anniversary, as Prooff was launched at the 2006 Biennale Interieur (Kortrijk). To celebrate this we’d love to share our insights and inspiration on the progressive and innovative workspace with you. All in list form, because who doesn't love a good list! Check out all the lists here and celebrate with us using #PROOFF10
Multi-coloured restaurant area in Stuttgart
UnternehmenForm GmbH selected numerous colourful WorkSofas for the restaurant area of an automotive company in Germany.
A room within a room at Süwag
German dealer Raumgesichte wanted to create different types of workspaces in the atrium of the Süwag office and selected several Niches.
Work closer together with the Niche
International consulting firm Deloitte asked Madi Lancos Studio to make their Budapest office more suited to the changing needs of their staff and to provide space for the different generations to work closer together.